Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
IN the aftermath of Sunday’s monumental blunder where the Mighty Warriors boycotted the second-leg of the second round Olympic qualifier against Zambia at the National Sports Stadium, blundering Zifa has blamed a “hidden” hand for the embarrassing boob.
Spirited efforts by Zifa to get the game postponed to yesterday hit a brick wall on Sunday.
About 12 players belonging to Blue Swallows, Correctional Queens, Black Rhinos and Herentals were withdrawn from camp by their clubs after the players complained about their welfare.
Zifa, however, disputes that it neglected the Mighty Warriors who claim that they are yet to receive allowances and other payments due to them for their participation in the Cosafa women’s tournament where they came third.
Zifa claims that it paid the girls for their duty against Zambia.
“We paid the Mighty Warriors US$150 each before they left for Zambia. They were even paid $2 000 winning bonuses for a game that they lost 5-0. For the return leg, they had been paid more than half of what was due to them. Tell me, who is in breach of contract?
“It’s surprising that males invaded the team’s camping base at midnight and pulled the girls out of camp claiming to have been instructed by their bosses to pull out players from camp. We will be invoking Fifa, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and Zifa statutes to deal with the clubs and individuals who instigated the chaos,” said Zifa spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela.
He said Zifa will wait for Fifa to make its determination in line with its statutes.
Gwesela declined to comment on the reduction of incentives given to players, saying: “We don’t comment on contractual figures.”
Our sister publication, The Herald, reported that Zifa came up with vastly reduced payments schedules for national team assignments starting with the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
From earning as much as US$5 000 in appearance fees at the Afcon finals, players now have to settle for all payments in local currency with appearance fees for the World Cup qualifier against Somalia reduced to $200 in local currency.
Should the Warriors win both legs of their World Cup qualifier against Somalia, they will pocket $2 000 in local currency.
When they are in camp at home, the players will get daily allowances of $75 in local currency and $85 a day in local currency in foreignlands. The contracts have to be signed by each player and sent back to Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse before the players go into camp.
These are the same amounts that were promised to the Mighty Warriors, according to impeccable sources. — @ZililoR.