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PSL clubs endure bailout delay



Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are enduring a frustrating wait for their share of the Fifa COVID-19 bailout which is being administered by the country’s supreme football governing body Zifa.

The financially-struggling clubs were hoping to get their share early, so they could meet pressing obligations that include players’ salaries.

While Division One clubs have already been paid by Zifa, PSL clubs have declined to accept payment in local currency as per Zifa’s suggestion and this has caused the delay.
Zifa have also said that they have not yet received the funds from Fifa.

It is, however, not yet clear how Zifa will disburse the funds as they are still consulting its affiliates, with other clubs reportedly demanding it in foreign currency.
There have been suggestions of the league resuming before the end of the year, but Zimbabwe has experienced a surge in infections and it is unlikely the government would sanction the resumption of the country’s most popular sport.

Chicken Inn secretary-general Tavengwa Hara said clubs were struggling to make ends meet.

“We have not yet received the money, but it has been difficult just like in every sector. We don’t know how we are going to receive it,” he said.

WhaWha secretary-general Innocent Makoni said theyweare eagerly waiting for the funds which would help them bounce back having endured a long period of financial turmoil since their struggle to pay affiliation fees.

Meanwhile, Zifa board member (finance) Philemon Machana said they were currently holding consultative meetings with their stakeholders as they await arrival of the funds.

He also revealed that they were likely to top-up on funds disbursed to the regions depending on the outcomes of the consultations.

“Firstly, we must make it clear that we have not yet received the money from Fifa.

“The money that we gave our Division One affiliates and women football is part of the funds we already had in our coffers,” Machana said.

“Initially, we had scheduled to give it to PSL, but there were certain demands and we felt that we needed to consult them and hear their concerns in case we were missing something.
“So the consultations are still on-going and once they are done, we will be able to have an official position. Apparently, there are other clubs who have signalled that they want the money in foreign currency, so we are taking all that into consideration.

“This is our decision to first hear from our affiliates what they think before we make conclusions. Being the national executive, we could have just fixed figures, but we decided to listen to our affiliates to make sure we consider everything before finalising anything.

“At the moment, we are still waiting for the money to come. The consultative meetings were set to happen last week, but they were postponed due to some pressing issues, but once we are done we will announce the details.”

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