16 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Zifa Meeting On Tuesday

THE Zifa board, still seeking ways to turn the corner, will once again convene in the capital on Tuesday with the Warriors' revival, and the need to offset their crippling US$4 million debt, high among the issues on their agenda.

Zifa are also keen to close the Asiagate chapter and they have been requested to furnish Fifa with more documentation which the world soccer governing body believes will help them determine whether or not to endorse the sanctions which the association imposed on individuals they found guilty of match-fixing.

It is against the background of the Fifa request that the Justice Ebrahim Ethics committee, which dealt with the Asiagate case and recommended penalties to Zifa, will make a presentation to the board on Tuesday.

Zifa chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, said yesterday that the board would also finalise discussions on their ambitious plan to set up a Football Trust, which they believe will help them swim out of their financial quagmire and other problems haunting the domestic game.

The association has been hamstrung by a balooning debt, which has even threatened to squeeze life out of the Warriors and all the other facets of the national game.

Mashingaidze said the board was this year keen to open a new leaf in the way football is administered.

The Zifa chief executive said they were also anticipating a busy 2013 given that the association will also be celebrating their 50th anniversary through a number of activities.

But with Fifa showing interest to bring the Asiagate chapter to a close, retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim and his crew are once again expected to play a key role in assisting Zifa furnish the world soccer governing body with some evidence and documentation, which Fifa's legal department is understood to have requested.

Fifa believe that the additional documentation would help in determining who gets a worldwide ban and who escapes their global sanctions.

"The Ebrahim committee will address the board on the Fifa requirement for additional information and all the dynamics around match-fixing and this comes in the wake of Zifa's impending appointment of an Integrity officer who will work closely with the secretariat especially my office, the national teams and the clubs.

"Zifa will also come up with an Integrity committee that will deal with the early warning system framework and establish any conduct that may bring the game into disrepute.

"So that Integrity committee will be made up of people with experience in policing, coaching,refereeing and administration and they will set up a hotline and a tips anonymous facility in order to try and have a surveillance framework for possible corrupt activities from Division Three up to the PSL. "The board will also look at the future role of the Ethics committee," Mashingaidze said.

The Zifa chief executive also spoke about the tasks which the envisaged Football Trust is expected to tackle once they have been commissioned intooffice.

"These are the seven major tasks for the Trust with the top of the agenda naturally being debt servicing and once the Trust has been commissioned the Trustees will retreat and come up with their own framework," said Mashingaidze.

"Zifa would like to implore all service providers and creditors to be patient and allow the association to mobilise resources to service its debt.

"We would like to salute the all-weather service providers who have provided services without being paid.

"Once the debt servicing area has been disposed of we would like to start on a clean slate so that football contracts with the service providers are draw-up," Mashingaidze said.

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