Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FINANCIALLY crippled Zifa have appealed to its creditors to be patient with them, as efforts are being made to liquidate the longstanding debts.
The appeal was made by the Zifa executive member responsible for finance Phillimon Machana in a report carried in the association’s newly launched e-magazine.
Machana said the association remained fully committed to settling its dues to creditors and was in constant communication with them.
“We are in continuous engagement with our creditors and are committed to settling what we owe them. Under this board there will be no manoeuvres aimed at wiggling our way out of commitments,” said Machana.
“We know and acknowledge what we owe and have been talking to government as well as Fifa, as we seek ways of getting out of the red. This is a process and we urge our creditors to be patient with us as we endeavour to put our house in order.”
He said Zifa was fully aware of the possible mistrust from some of the creditors, some of whom have been owed over a very long period. The association owes a number of its former employees, who include coaches, players, secretariat staff and other associates varying amounts.
“We understand the frustrations and possible mistrust from some of our creditors, especially after waiting for a long time to be paid. But we appeal for space to operate normally so that we focus our energies on debt extinguishing and current football activities.
“We yearn for a day when we breathe, talk and do just football without any side shows. We owe players, coaches and various stakeholders and we must do them good. We believe that in the fullness of time we will make up, kiss and begin to holistically work together,” he said.
Zifa has been constant visitors to the courts as creditors choose the legal route to recover their money. The association’s accounts were frozen, but Machana sees some light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are in a tight spot, but there is hope; efforts are being channeled towards extinguishing the legacy debt while also improving the administration of the game. We cannot sit and continue to mourn that the board that came in 2017 found Zifa in the red. We are here now and have to fix it,” said the Zifa finance chief.
After being given a thumbs-up by the Fifa audit team that visited the country last year, a move that flew in the face of some hawks who were accusing Zifa of financial embezzlement, the association will continue to receive grants from the world football motherbody.
“Fifa are the custodians of the world game and we make sure that our financial practices are in line with the statutes because crossing the line will have serious negative effects on the local game. We thank Fifa for their support and understanding during these very difficult times for Zifa,” said Machana.