Fifa finance team arrives in Zim


HARARE – A team of Fifa financial consultants is expected to arrive in the country today to ascertain the financial support required by the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Football Association.

German Rolf Eggenberger and Zambian Fidelis Banda will be in the country until Thursday on a fact-finding mission before reporting back to Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich.

This will be Eggenberger’s second visit to Zimbabwe this year after his first in March. On that visit, he was accompanied by the world football governing body’s development officer for southern Africa, Ashford Mamelodi.

Zifa is currently saddled with a ballooning debt of $1 million, accrued over the years.

The financially-troubled association had its property attached by the deputy Sheriff twice this year over debts accumulated over time.

Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said: “The whole idea of their visit is to engage Zifa and get to know exactly what we require in terms of our economic rehabilitation. Fifa should have a clear picture of what we need before they can avail their funds to the association.”

Mashingaidze said the duo will meet with the Zifa board, secretariat, creditors and other stakeholders during their visit.

This will help them formulate the report they will take back to Fifa, who will then make a decision on the sum of the rescue package to be availed to Zifa.

“Fifa wants to help us find a long-lasting solution to our cash flow problems because they don’t want a situation where they give us money and later on we go back to ask for more money,” said the Zifa boss.

“The consultants will help us create a framework that will make our financial situation better manageable.”

Zifa is likely to be asked to introduce austerity measures to ensure that their expenditure is reduced.

Cutting down on the staff employed in the Zifa secretariat is definitely one of the measures that will be explored, said Mashingaidze.

Zifa’s financial troubles have been well-documented over the last few years with the association’s president Cuthbert Dube having to dig deep into his own pocket to fund some of the daily operations at 53 Livingston Avenue as well as players’ invectives.

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