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Fifa backs Zifa projects


World football mother body Fifa have said they are fully committed to support Zifa in all their projects as the national association battles to bring back normalcy in the country’s football fortunes.

Speaking after witnessing the official hand-over ceremony of the Zifa Village Goal Project phase two to Zifa by the project contractors, Fifa development officer in charge of East and Southern Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, said they were happy with the progress that has taken place at the facility in Mt Hampden.

Construction and refurbishments have been completed at the main technical centre, with all the rooms to cater for 30 people having been finished and ready for use. Zifa also revealed yesterday $438 000 has been used to refurbish the facility.

Mamelodi inspected all rooms and was impressed by what he saw.

“From Fifa, we are happy with the commitment you have shown here. We know you have problems as an association, but we are happy with the way you have stood against those challenges.

Fifa strongly stands behind you and we are happy with the stance you have taken to clean your game.

“All we admire as Fifa is the commitment of the current Zifa leadership. This is a major step you have taken as an association. We can stand here and say this is a completed goal project,” said Mamelodi.

Mamelodi pledged to give more financial assistance to Zifa. He said the whole project should be completed by the end of this year.

“We want to provide more assistance to Zifa, but that decision can only be made in March. Once the decision has been made, construction of the other phases will start.

We will give you all the support and will only stop when you tell us you have had enough. We would have given you a year so that we could review and inspect what you have done so far on this project, but given the commitment you have shown we want to accelerate the whole process.

Next we will look at the conference room and the pitch, but that will depend on how you look after this place. We want to come here at the end of 2012 and see a completed Zifa Village,” added Mamelodi.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, who was flanked by the association’s chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, board members Nigel Munyati (marketing), Mavis Gumbo (women’s football), Benedict Moyo (competitions) and Premier Soccer League boss Twine Phiri paid tribute to Fifa for the support.

“Zifa can never walk alone and as such the association shall always companies with strategic partners in growing the game’s portfolios. It has been a long and winding trip for the family of football to complete this project.

“We would like to thank Fifa for supporting Zifa and Zimbabweans in terms of growing the game of football. We appeal to Fifa to continue supporting Zifa establish more technical centres.

This project will see Zifa cutting down on expenses for accommodation for teams, board members and assemble members meetings. We cannot afford the high accommodation bills,” said Dube.

He added: “We are also going to use this facility as an income generating project. We will hire it out for weddings and conferences so that we can generate some money for the association. I want to express my gratitude to Fifa and the contractors for a job well done.

“When I came here with Fifa president (Joseph Blatter) last year I was very embarrassed because the place was dilapidated. I just wish he could come here again and see this new place.

“The contractors have done a wonderful job and should be applauded for that.” Dube appealed to Fifa for a similar financial package to help renovate the association’s headquarters at 53 Livingstone Avenue, dubbed the “house of horror”.

“We have resolved that we want a new Zifa house. We are appealing to Fifa for assistance so that we can either demolish that place or move it to another location.”

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