Zifa changes football calendar

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ZIMBABWE is set to align its soccer season with that of European leagues and most African countries after Zifa tentatively set August or September as the start of local leagues.

BY KEVIN MAPASURE

With the coronavirus-induced restrictions having made it impossible for the leagues to start in April as originally scheduled, local leagues could kickstart in September, once government gives the greenlight.

The Zifa executive committee held a meeting on Sunday and resolved to align the local leagues with those of most African and European countries.

“In its meeting on the 3rd of May 2020, the Zifa emergency committee also noted that other football associations were planning to resume football operations around August/September 2020 and has tentatively set this date as to when our leagues will commence should our government announce the complete end of the lockdown any day before the envisaged dates. The resumption of football activities will also be done in consultation with Caf and Fifa,” part of Zifa’s statement reads. “For Zifa, should the season begin in September such will see us also aligning our football calendar with the rest of the world.”

Zifa stressed that the path to return to normalcy will be guided by the government.

“As is the norm, the path to normalcy shall be derived from the policies implemented by the government of the republic and guidance from Caf and Fifa. The association in supporting the government decision notes that the only important issue at the moment is the safety and health of all football stakeholders and the nation as a whole. Zifa is confident that football action will return soon to play its part in healing and resuscitating our beautiful nation.”

Zifa, however, came up with a measly rescue package for its affiliates and referees and unlike other countries such as Malawi, it will not directly help either the players or the clubs.

Last week, Malawi unveiled a rescue package of US$500 000 which will benefit players and club technical teams.
Zifa has applied for a Fifa bailout to help mitigate the effects of the delays in the start of the season.

The mother body is also getting $500 000 from the world governing body, yet it’s doing nothing to help the players.

Some clubs are struggling to pay salaries with no income coming into their coffers.