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Relief for Zifa

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ZIFA says they have reached a compromise with Switzerland-based organisation Kentaro to pay them $300 000 instead of $600 000 they initially demanded for arranging the high profile international friendly match between Zimbabwe and Brazil in June 2010.

Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika

Zifa board member (finance) Eliot Kasu told NewsDay Sport yesterday that their lawyers had finally engaged Kentaro and that the two parties agreed on a figure of $300 000 — half the amount of money which they had demanded from Zifa.

Kasu spoke to NewsDay Sport on the sidelines of a donation of a piece of land by businessman Masimba Mandla Msipa to the Zimbabwe Football Trust.
Kentaro had threatened to sue Zifa as they demanded $600 000 which they said was generated from gate takings.

However, Kasu said they would now engage the government and other football stakeholders to make a payment plan after they came to a compromise with the Switzerland-based firm.

“Our lawyers engaged Kentaro and the money was reduced to $300 000. We are now putting in place mechanisms to make a payment plan. We will soon be engaging the government and all stakeholders so that we make a payment plan,” said Kasu.

Although Kentaro were suing Zifa, it later emerged that the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality ran the show and got all proceeds from gate takings after they outmuscled the soccer mother body from taking part in the organisation of the match.

While prior to the match — all information regarding the game was obtained from Zifa, then permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Sylvester Maunganidze directed 24 hours before the game that Zifa would not have a say in the match.

He wrote at the time: “Please be advised that all the information relating to the Zimbabwe-Brazil match must be sought from the permanent secretary and the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

“This serves to exonerate the Zimbabwe Football Association from the organisation and co-ordination of the game.

“The contract between the two bodies was entered into by the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and Kentaro.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Football Trust got a major boost yesterday after it received a piece of land near Harare International Airport. The land will be used for football projects that will be determined by the trust. ZFT chairman Rtd Col Tshinga Dube expressed gratitude over the donation. Mandla is the son of former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa.

“I am humbled to stand before you to accept, on behalf of the Zimbabwe Football Trust, this massive piece of land which will go a long way in making our dream of turning the fortunes of Zimbabwean football come true.

“When we accepted the call to play our part in turning the fortunes of football around, we considered the task a tough one, but one possible to achieve.

“We are fully aware that our quest to turn the fortunes of Zimbabwean soccer around needs the contribution of every Zimbabwean and we would like to say a big thank you to Mandla Msipa and his friends for setting the tone for what we hope will be the beginning of unprecedented levels of support from Zimbabweans at home and abroad,” said Dube.

Other members of the trustee who attended include George Shaya, Bernard Gwarada of Led Car Hire and Air Zimbabwe chief executive Innocent Mavhunga.
Msipa said: “We decided to donate this piece of land to enable the trust to venture into some income-generating projects so as to help them become self sustainable.

“Football has become a source of livelihood and there is a legacy that footballers end up in problems after their careers and we don’t want our young players to find themselves in these situations.”

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