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Zifa in defensive mode


The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) have defended themselves against criticism of their finances, saying they fared better than the previous board led by Cuthbert Dube.

By Sports Reporter

Zifa board member in charge finance, Philemon Machana addressed a Press conference together with the body’s vice-president, Omega Sibanda in Harare yesterday responding to a barrage of criticism following the release of their audit report.

He raised questions on the expenditure of the previous board, where they paid above normal fees for services.

The administration, which came into office in December 2015 after the councillors revoked Dube’s mandate to lead the association has been battling to service a debt of over $6 million.

Machana said their financial situation arose from the historical operation when Zifa was under Dube’s leadership and not the present administration.

He said since the administration, which is led by Philip Chiyangwa came into office, they used less money compared to the previous one and still performed better, notwithstanding that they had inherited a debt.

“In 2016 we participated in four out of six competitions, while the previous board took part in just two competitions, but you find that our expenditure is almost the same. We used less to do more football-related activities. We were very pragmatic. Our situation is arising out of historical operations, not current operations. It’s not our own creation (the debt),” Machana said.

He questioned the logic behind the payment of $100 per player at Pandari Lodge by the Dube-led board, as they paid much less than that for the same facility when they came in.

“It defies logic that before we came in, Pandari Lodge was being paid $100, but when we came in we paid only $28 for accommodation,” Machana said.

The Zifa boss said it was surprising that the 2011 audit by Baker Tilly Gwatidzo showed that there was no income from gate-takings when fans were paying to watch matches at the stadium.

The audit report for 2016 shows that Zifa have failed to service their debt, but have made efforts to reduce expenditure.

It was reported that the football governing body intends to use their Fifa grant of $750 000 for fundraising initiatives in order to improve finances.

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