Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has given ZIFA an ultimatum to produce audited financial statements of the money they got from Treasury by this weekend or the association will not receive any more funding from the public purse.
This comes as several legislators called for the disbandment of the ZIFA board, accusing them of failing to account for funds they received from either the Government or FIFA.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, yesterday told the National Assembly the Sports and Recreation Commission had directed ZIFA to bring audited accounts to a meeting to be held tomorrow.
The indaba will be attended by other national associations.
Coventry was fielding questions from legislators, who wanted clarity on a ministerial statement she issued about the state of football in the country.
“On Saturday, national federations have been called for a quarterly meeting. ZIFA has not produced audited accounts and, if they do not produce audited accounts by Saturday, there will be non-compliance,’’ said Coventry.
“They will no longer be able to get any financial assistance from the Government until they have complied.’’
Several legislators said they wanted the Government to dissolve the ZIFA board for alleged bungling, including their failure to advise the Government and other stakeholders about concerns from CAF on the state of stadiums in the country.
Southerton MP, Peter Moyo (MDC Alliance), said it was only proper that Coventry dissolves the ZIFA board so that several issues could be addressed.
Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent), said there have been a lot of financial irregularities at ZIFA which warranted the dissolution of the national association. “After all, we have been losing the matches, so let us ban ZIFA, you have the powers Minister, they should also produce audited statements for the money they got from FIFA,” said Mliswa. Vungu MP, Omega Sibanda (Zanu-PF), said ZIFA had failed to recognise the authority of COSAFA.
Coventry said while she shared the concerns of legislators, disbanding ZIFA would affect players who would no longer play international football since FIFA would ban Zimbabwe from such events.
“Government is allowed to request for an audit of money that they have given, which we have done,’’ said Coventry.
“I cannot request ZIFA to show me what they do with FIFA or CAF money, we will be banned.
“If we want Zimbabwe to be banned, we can do that, but — in terms of coming back — it will be a long process and it does not just take a few years.
“Cricket was a different situation.’’
She castigated ZIFA for failing to inform the SRC and Government about the impending ban of the country’s stadiums.
“I rely on my stakeholders, in terms of the communication, honesty and this has not been happening and I have been let down on numerous occasions,’’ she said.