Zifa refuses to  bail out clubs

Godknows Matarutse

IT SEEMS there is no immediate bailout for local clubs from the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) after the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) insisted money from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) will only go towards the association’s upkeep.

Caf announced last week that it will disburse US$10,8 million into the coffers of their 54 members to support the management of football at the domestic levels hugely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The continental football body added it was also exploring the possibility of getting further funding which will be injected into their member associations to help the domestic leagues resume.
The financial injection from Caf comes less than a month after Zifa also received US$500 000 from Fifa.
Some countries have moved quickly to distribute the money to their clubs to cushion them against the losses.
Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick recently revealed that his association will direct some of the money from Fifa to their domestic leagues including the second tier and even women’s leagues.
It’s, however, a different case for local clubs, who are reeling from the meltdown with some even on the brink of collapse.
“It’s for Zifa administration,” Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said after the Daily News had queried on whether they will assist local clubs in any way.
Zifa’s stance is surprising considering that the association does not have any pressing commitments in terms of games for the various national teams.
There will probably be no international matches taking place between now and next year as most countries are concentrating on fighting the spread of the novel virus.
Most local clubs have no solid financial blue-print as they largely depend on gate-takings for survival; a flawed strategy which can hardly sustain teams especially in an economy like ours.
Things reached  alarming levels recently when some established clubs like CAPS United and Highlanders embarrassed themselves by accepting grocery donations from well wishers.
Most football followers believe these giants are selling themselves cheaply to publicity-hungry would-be philanthropists, who are only after likes on social media.

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