BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Despite the stadium seemingly filled to capacity in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match featuring the Warriors against Congo Brazzaville on March 24 at the National Sports Stadium, under 40 000 fans paid their way into the stadium, with over a third of the giant 60 000 facility occupied by people that gained free entry through legal and illegal means.
According to the figures released by Zifa yesterday, 36 971 tickets were sold for Zifa to gross $426 770.
Thirty six thousand one hundred and twenty-two tickets were sold for $10, while six hundred and fifty-nine tickets were taken up at $50 each, with just 100 having paid for a seat in the VVIP section, which tickets were going for $200.
Zifa acting vice-president Philemon Machana complained that there were too many people that were using influence in society to demand complimentary tickets.
He said that their stakeholders meeting yesterday resolved that in future, the mother body would not print any complimentary tickets.
“It’s sad that we had people of influence simply refusing to pay their way into the stadium,” he said.
“These are people of means who can afford to pay $200 that were demanding free entry. Most of the seats in the VVIP section were taken up by people that got free entry. So, we have said that in future, there will not be any complimentary tickets. Our players depend on the gate takings, so everyone has got to pay.”
He said bouncers would no longer be used to man entry points in future, as they busted some of them engaging in acts of corruption for self gain.
“We actually caught some bouncers collecting tickets and not tearing them as per procedure, but reselling the same tickets to pocket the proceeds. So we have said we will engage professionals only in future,” Machana said.
Apart from ticket sales, Zifa also benefited from vending fees, where the association collected over $4 000.
Having quantified Warriors benefactor Walter Magaya’s donation of accommodation and meals for the players while in camp, Zifa net revenue added up to $531 768.
From that, Zifa paid the team $193 000 in camping allowances and bonuses.
Some of the major expenses include Caf fees of $21 338, Fifa ($8 535), Zimbabwe Republic Police ($11 266), cost of printing tickets ($53 165) and stewards, who were paid $3 600.
Ground hire cost $51 212 while the Sports and Recreation Commission claimed $25 606, with match officials air tickets gobbling up $10 000, almost the same amount having been used on their meals and accommodation.
In the end, Zifa were left with a deficit of about $105 000 after donating $37 000 towards the Cyclone Idai relief.