insidesport:with MICHAEL KARIATI
THE heavens have opened up and money is falling down on all the organs of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), some of it in foreign currency, but in most cases, in the Zimbabwean dollar.
The figures vary according to stature and need in Zimbabwean football, and in some cases, on whom those at 53 Livingstone Avenue feel deserve more.
There has, of course, been some dissatisfied voices coming from underground crying that they too, just like the Premier Soccer League (PSL), should have received their share in US dollars.
Some observers are also questioning why in the first place Zifa did not pay the other organs in foreign currency without altering the agreed figure for the beneficiaries.
This, however, is a debate for another day as those in positions of authority have not been able to give a satisfactory explanation as to how they came up with their decision.
Zifa, however, should have followed or should follow what has happened in other countries where the money has been distributed to the beneficiaries in the currency it came from Fifa and Caf.
Whatever the case is, the most important thing is that the whole Zimbabwean football family has received or will receive something and what is now left is to see how best the money can be used.
What we do not want to see or hear are stories that the money did not reach its intended destination because somebody diverted the funds to his personal use.
It is human that those who do the running around need a “thank you” for their efforts, but that should only be a very small fraction of the whole package.
The people in the communities should also not expect a complete change in the financial behaviour of footballers because the money is not — all of it — meant for clubs and their players only.
Fifa have made specific guidelines on how the money should be used, including that part of it, should go towards administration and operational costs as well as putting adequate measures for the restarting of competitions after Covid-19.
More importantly is the fact that the money is not even all that much. The $1,6 million for the whole region, or US$5 000 for a club like Dynamos or Highlanders, is not that much considering the needs that is waiting for it.
However, half a loaf is better than nothing and the cash-strapped Zimbabwean football family should thank Fifa and Caf for coming to their rescue in this time of need.
Zifa relies heavily on such monies from Fifa as the association does not have any other means of survival as sponsors have been hard to come by due to the harsh economic climate prevailing in the country.
What is important right now is to see to it that the money has been used or is used accordingly so that our begging bowl is filled again the next time around we throw it on the streets.
Zimbabwean football record books should in future reflect what exactly happened to this Covid-19 Fifa relief fund instead of raising questions on who was the actual beneficiary at the Beach Football of Zimbabwe.
It would also not make sense for Zifa to in future say they do not have money to bankroll the Warriors and the Mighty Warriors in their international engagements when they had this rescue package from Fifa and Caf.
After a month or so, Zimbabwean football should be able to sit up and say we received so much from Fifa and Caf and it helped to do this and that.
That is what serious football people do instead of spending all the money on transport, accommodation, food, drinks, and allowances for meetings, and gatherings, most of which do not bring any progress at all.
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