FIFA recently unveiled a development programme — FIFA Forward —through which two new funding mechanisms will be used to support the association.
FIFA development officer for Southern Africa Ashford Mamelodi is optimistic the new ZIFA leadership will be able to access the $500 000 in November and the Project funding before year end.
Mamelodi was in Zimbabwe for a three-day fact finding mission on the status of football in the country during which he met with the ZIFA executive members, councillors, former administrators, the association’s workers and the game’s stakeholders including creditors.
The veteran administrator also met with the Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane, the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, former referees and the Sport and Recreation Commission officials.
Mamelodi remained optimistic the ZIFA assembly, which meets in the capital at the end of next month, would approve that operating budget that the executive would have tabled, which would in turn pave the way for the domestic football body to access FIFA funding.
But the honorary COSAFA secretary-general dismissed perceptions by some within the Zimbabwe football circles that he had been a FIFA mission to dole out funding to extinguish ZIFA’s debilitating debt pegged at $6 million.
“It would be misplaced for anyone to think that I was here to have FIFA pay the ZIFA debt.
“FIFA have a new development programme called FIFA Forward which replaces the Goal project and FAP (financial assistance programme) so what was FAP is now Operating Budget which has $500 000.
“Previously it was $250 000 a year, but FIFA have doubled that. The association can also access $750 000 Project Funding per year and in four years associations would have received $5 million from FIFA, but that is if you do your things right .
“That money is only released where there is financial compliance, audited accounts, reports and an approved budget.
“At every AGM the budget must be presented so in October when the ZIFA assembly meets, the budget for next year must be approved by the assembly,’’ Mamelodi said.
Mamelodi said FIFA had become stricter in the manner in which they now administer and disburse financial support to member associations.
ZIFA have continued to be pegged back in their operations as they fight litigation from all angles. It is also hoped that ZIFA will expedite the compilation of the forensic audit report which the association’s leadership would want to use to clarify the true state of their debt.
But as ZIFA continue to seek ways to eradicate the debt that had also sparked the bid for voluntary sequestration, Mamelodi also urged for a better understanding between the association and the creditors.
“The ZIFA leadership really need to have a meeting of minds with creditors because any perceived arrogance on either side will aggravate issues.
“As long as the debt is there it will be very difficult for ZIFA to focus on developing the game.
“I have always seen it (the debt) as a big challenge . . . Are we are going to have adequate preparations for the African Cup of Nations for both the men and the women’s teams with the financial challenge that ZIFA are facing with this debt because any money coming ZIFA’s way the creditors will be waiting to pounce on it.
“When money is found there will be need to audit the creditors and see how genuine the claims are,’’ Mamelodi said.
ZIFA yesterday indicated that newly-appointed technical director Taurai Mangwiro would soon roll out his development programmes.
Mangwiro, according to the ZIFA website, is also set to combine a new database of coaches in the country.
The former Monomotapa coach sits on the Technical Development Committee, a key sub-committee of the association which is headed by ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda that is expected to revive the junior policy.
“Coaches are now obliged to ensure that they practice for at least a year after attaining a coaching qualification before proceeding to the next level.
“The technical director’s office will ensure that all coaches are certified by the association and that no other establishment is allowed to issue or organise football coaching courses,’’ read the statement on the website.
“ZIFA urges all qualified coaches within the country and those abroad to furnish the association with copies of their certificates either physically or via email no later than 30 October 2016 to enable the creation of a national coaches’ database.
“The Technical Director will soon publish a comprehensive coaching education programme which seeks to address key areas of football development.
“The association will continue reviewing coach education programmes in order to enhance coaching standards.
“ZIFA has great confidence in the ability of Mangwiro to contribute immensely towards the uplifting of coaching standards and nurturing of young talent because of his teaching and coaching background.”