As Zifa desperately looks for funding to participate in the upcoming Cosafa Cup, Afcon, Olympics, Chan and possibly Fifa World Cup qualifiers, the cash-strapped association appears set for another adminstrative bungling by chasing away prospective sponsors with their never-ending squabbles.
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Women’s football boss Miriam Sibanda was last Monday suspended for alleged “embezzlement of funds and other critical issues that bring the game of women football into disrepute.”
Zifa last week fired a resisting Sibanda, with the association’s secretary general Jonathan Mashingaidze endorsing the suspension.
The Zifa secretariat was also last week tied up with scheming the postponement of a crucial annual general meeting (AGM) that had been scheduled for yesterday.
The meeting will now be held on June 27. The association cited “liquidity problems” for the postponement.
There is however no guarantee that June would allow them to hold the meeting since it would be a financially demanding month in which the Warriors would be taking part in the 2017 Afcon qualifiers while the Under-23s’ go for the 2016 Olympic Games bid.
With Fifa elections coming up next month, it is suspected Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and Mashingaidze suspended the meeting fearing for a possible coup by angry councillors which would have seen them miss the Fifa vote.
The duo could not be reached for comment.
The Warriors head to South Africa next month for the Cosafa tournament.
In June they will start their bid for a berth at Afcon while during the same month the Young Warriors would be seeking for a ticket to December’s African Youth Championships which is the path to the Rio Olympic Games.
“Time is running out for us,” said Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.
“We have to move with speed in getting money for these qualifiers because the days are drawing closer. It is not a secret that we are constrained in terms of resources. We therefore strongly appeal to the government and the corporate world to come on board and assist us. We really need help.”
Chances of getting assistance from the government are however slim as it is itself grappling with saving a melting economy.
Camping dates for Cosafa as well as Afcon and Olympic qualifiers are yet to be drawn.
“I am sure by Wednesday we will have the squads for Cosafa and Under-23s. We will also have camping details by then,” said Gwesela.
Zimbabwe’s Afcon qualifiers Group L opponents Malawi have already named their Afcon squad, while Young Warriors’ opponents Swaziland started training this month. Other assignments, the 2018 Fifa World Cup and 2016 Chan qualifiers begin in October.