New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe/Tanzania: Tanzania National Team Locked Out As Zifa Fail to Pay

THE Tanzanian national soccer side was briefly locked out of its Harare hotel Friday night after the debt-ridden Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) failed to pay.

The east Africans are in Harare to take on the Warriors Sunday afternoon in the second leg of a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier which Zimbabwe must to win or they are out of the campaign.

Tanzania won the first leg 1-0 in Dar es Salaam.

But the visitors were stunned Friday night when they returned from training to find their rooms at Pandhari Hotel in the capital fitted with key blockers.

Zifa are said to owe the hotel substantial amounts for the accommodation of visiting teams for previous games.

The national association had not paid for the Tanzanians' lodgings either.

Furious, the Tanzanians are reported to have taken the matter up with their ambassador to Harare and threatened to report Zifa to the Confederation African Football.

A hotel worker spoke to The Sunday Mail about the stand-off.

"Zifa, especially their chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, always make promises they don't fulfil," said the employee.

"Last week the Zambian women's national team stayed at the hotel and empty promises were made . . . the same trend was about to repeat itself with the Tanzanian national team, hence management decided that enough is enough.

"First, management tried to engage the Sports Commission, but one of their officials, a Hamadziripi, said they are not aware of the Zifa debt. That response forced us to act in the manner that we did."

Zifa boss Cuthbert Dube had to call a crisis meeting with hotel authorities were he promised payment and reportedly put one of his homes down as sureity.

Pandari Hotels lawyer Evans Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness confirmed an agreement was eventually reached.

"We held a cordial meeting with Zifa and the association undertook to settle their dues with us, with Dube acting as the guarantor," said Moyo

"Zifa pledged to settle the debt within 30 days and our client was agreeable to that proposal. As soon as that agreement was reached.

Tanzania were allowed access to the rooms and they will be accommodated there until the day they are expected to leave."

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