THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has not yet secured money to give as prizes in this year’s Zifa Unity Cup, which despite kicking off this week, has had its launch postponed.
IndependentSport heard this week that the leadership at Zifa was still trying to secure the $550 million needed for prizes. They need a guarantee from government that the money would be made available.
This comes at a time when Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are considering pulling out of the tournament, which they say is exerting pressure on them unnecessarily. PSL clubs still have six matches to play in the championship.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday said government had promised the football body an undisclosed amount.
In the interim Zifa were also looking for funds from other sources.
“Government has agreed with our figure and said they will provide the money. But in the event it doesn’t come, we are considering other means,” he said.
PSL secretary-general Chris Sambo on Wednesday said clubs from the top-flight league were not happy with the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the tournament.
“The clubs are finding it difficult to play without a guarantee that there will be prizes at the end,” he said.
The Zifa Unity Cup, launched by Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo in 2001, has been embroiled in controversy this season.
The mother association early this year turned down an offer of $500 million from government, saying it wasn’t enough to stage the tournament, previously played by 64 teams.
After failing to fund the tournament on its own, Zifa had decided to scrap it off the calendar this season. However, pressure exerted by government on the mother association recently led to efforts towards reviving the tournament.
The draw was held last week after being postponed a number of times and the launch, which Zifa had said was going to be held this week, was not done.