Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA board member responsible for finance Philemon Machana has assured the association’s councillors that the delay in holding their first annual general meeting since the December 2018 elective assembly will not preclude Zimbabwe from accessing Fifa funds.
The meeting, which has, among key issues, the budgets as well as presentation of audited accounts, has been twice shelved for varying reasons and will now be held in Harare on May 25.
Machana allayed fears of Zimbabwe losing out on getting their share for different projects from Fifa, adding that the next funding is due next month.
“We will not be affected at all. In fact, the next Fifa tranche comes after June 2019 and if we hold our AGM before that we will still access our money.
“However, even if we were, for some reason, to delay the AGM beyond June, they (Fifa) will still send us our money, but on a monthly basis in instalments.
‘This will, however, not be expected (postponement of the AGM) as we are having our AGM this month and all is going according to plan,” said Machana.
“This coming AGM we’re presenting the 2018 audited accounts and the budget for 2020. The budget for the year we’re in was adopted last year and all the funds received from Fifa are being used or have been used for those specific programmes as per the budget adopted by the congress.
“Furthermore, Fifa also carries out its own audits directly outside of our statutory audits. In short, all is well and there is no crisis at all on that front,” said Machana.
At the beginning of the year, Zifa received about US$200 000 from Fifa and Machana said women’s football, referees and technical development committees had benefited from it.
“The first quarter of the year just finished and mostly it was a preparatory period for committees as they met to set out agendas for the year.
“The Fifa project money funds those initiatives. The technical development and referees’ organs have been on the ground preparing for the season and we funded those. Please note that before the referees subscribed, we took care of part of the expenses for their programme.
“We have also started subsidising the women’s football league by paying referees and subsidising the teams’ transport.
“Some women’s clubs have buses, while some hire transport, but we assist them using Zifa designated rates to cover costs,” said Machana.
Some of the money has also been used to pay auditors who have been working on the accounts to be presented at the May 25 AGM.
The Young Warriors, who progressed to the final round of the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium after beating Mozambique in March, were also financed through the funds accessed from Fifa.
Zimbabwe will play South Africa in the third and final round of the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier next month.
“We do have programmes for capacity building and had an induction where we brought in Ashford Mamelodi to take the entire assembly.
“We had another induction workshop that was for the Zifa board and all these we took care of workshop costs, which included transport, accommodation and allowances for the delegates.
“We will continue with these capacity development programmes and very soon we should be disembarking to the four regions; Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern, to meet all football stakeholders so that we speak the same language in terms of governance issues.
“People think it’s only the Zifa headquarters that should be accountable, but everyone should be because even if you’re an affiliate, there are affiliates that you account to. If affiliates are in good standing, they stand to benefit from Zifa funds,” said Machana.
The affiliates that Zifa will invite for the regional tours are Premiership sides, Division One, provincial, area zones, women’s football, Naph and Nash representatives.