Coventry speaks on Cosafa suspension
Eddie chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, says a lot of work needs to be done to “sort out” sport in Zimbabwe following the announcement by COSAFA to suspend the Warriors from next year’s senior men’s tournament.
COSAFA also indicated Zimbabwe faces isolation from the regional bloc unless they pay a US$200 000 fine imposed on ZIFA for pulling out of the hosting of the 2019 tournament.
The Minister maintained her earlier stance that the deal to host the tournament was not good for the country from the start.
She said the tournament required a budget of up to US$2 million against projected returns of US$45 000 from match ticket sales.
“Hosting COSAFA this year was a bad deal. ZIFA agreement required US$2 million from Government and they showed Total Gate Takings from Tournament as $45 000
“You do the Math(s). Where do all the other Gate Takings go?
“I told them to try again . . . they came back with same agreement. Then COSAFA want a guarantee that Zimbabwe will host the Tournament next year to prevent a fine and suspension from the game in 2020?
“The same Agreement? Sport in Zimbabwe needs to be sorted out!” tweeted Coventry.
Zimbabwe were found guilty by the organisation’s Disciplinary Committee in April this year following the last-minute withdrawal from hosting this year’s edition of the regional competition.
COSAFA said Zimbabwe were in a breach of the hosting agreement signed between the parties and slapped the association with a US$50 000 fine.
A further US$150 000 was suspended on condition that Zimbabwe would commit by end of June to host the 2020 men’s tournament, with full Government guarantees.
However, the conditions were not met and the regional block this week decided to come down hard on Zimbabwe.
COSAFA general-secretary, Sue Destombes, wrote to ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse advising them that the suspended sentence will now come into force.