Zimbabwean FA in $1,2 million debt for AFCON 2017

Zimbabwean FA in $1,2 million debt for AFCON 2017
Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Zimbabwe on the 15 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jan 23, 2018. 12:30

The Zimbabwean Football Association is sinking in debt after it failed to pay Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe a loan of $1,2 million.

The debt-ridden FA is sinking deeper into financial problems as POTRAZ pursues the $1,2 million they loaned out to the football governing body.

Although ZIFA is attempting to pass on the burden to the government, POTRAZ says it is not a grant but a loan.

POTRAZ director-general Gift Machengete told the media in Kadoma last week that the telecommunications regulatory body bailed out ZIFA and was hoping they would repay the money.

“Let me make it clear here; ZIFA through the ministry of Sport, approached us for help. We gave them from our own resources as POTRAZ not from the Universal Service Fund (USF), but from our money as POTRAZ. The money is not a grant, but a loan and we entered into an agreement. We are pursuing it,” he is quoted by the News Day.

The website reports that during the 2016 annual general meeting, ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa told the assembly he had sourced funding to ensure the Warriors travelled to Guinea for qualifiers.

However, documents suggest that POTRAZ bailed out the beleaguered FA through a $225 000 loan, which has an interest rate of 5% and was supposed to have been repaid by September 2017.

Following their qualification to reach the tournament, ZIFA again failed to raise funding for the tournament and POTRAZ had to bail out the football body through a $1 million loan to bring the total to $1,2 million, with an interest rate of 5% per annum.

ZIFA board member of finance, Philemon Machana said they hope the government will settle the debt as it had the responsibility to fund the country’s participation at AFCON.

“We were told that government would take care of our participation at the AFCON until the last minute, when we realised that things were getting out of hand. We had to rush to Potraz through the ministry. The belief that we had is that government would pay through Treasury,” he said.

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