Warriors trip scandal

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The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa)s recent Warriors trip to Botswana has raised dust with questions arising over the $18 000 they got from a sponsor following revelations the Botswana Football Association (BFA) sponsored the trip.

The sponsors, who do not want to be identified, underwrote the Warriors trip to Gaborone to fulfil an international friendly match, but it has since been claimed BFA footed all costs.

BFA president David Fani told Mmegi newspaper in Botswana the association booked the Warriors at Gaborone Sun at the associations expense and also refunded Zifa for transport costs.

Fani said the arrangement was Zifa were supposed to use their own funds to hire transport to Gaborone and back, then they were going to be reimbursed the costs upon arrival in Gaborone.

We hosted Zimbabwe, so we took care of their accommodation and food. We booked them into Gaborone Sun. I actually saw the receipts. We had agreed that they use their bus and when they got here we reimbursed them. So, in essence, we took care of everything, Fani said.

On the other hand, Zifa denied receiving any money from BFA. Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said the money received from a partner was used to cover costs related to the trip.

We agreed on confidentiality with a partner who gave us some money whose figure I cannot make public as per agreement.

The partner whom we wish to work with now and in the future gave us money to pay for accommodation, allowances for the team and transport. We were never reimbursed.

We were approached by Botswana late November to play them in a friendly match. In return they would pay us a reciprocal visit in 2012.

I advised the board about the trip and asked Botswana whether they would pay us any appearance fees and they said since they had qualified for 2012 African Cup of Nations, they would have so many expenses and would not afford except to host us in terms of food, shuttle transport and accommodation while there, said Mashingaidze.

Contacted for comment yesterday Mashingaidze said: There is no truth in what they are saying. Who did Botswana pay and how much? They catered for our accommodation and local shuttle transport, but not our transport to and from Botswana.

I have since written to their CEO who has said he will come back to me. The head of delegation Benedict Moyo (board member for competitions) told me that he never received anything from BFA.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube read the riot act to his association over the chaos that marred the Warriors road trip.

Meanwhile, the Warriors slipped four places down the Fifa rankings to 102nd and 24th in the world and in Africa respectively according to latest release by Fifa.