Premier Soccer League (PSL) CEO Kenny Ndebele could pay the price for seeking clarification on Zifa’s distribution of Fifa Covid-19 relief funds on behalf of the local top-flight league’s board of governors, it has emerged.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Zifa recently launched an investigation into possible misconduct based on statements made by Ndebele in the media and a letter written to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the World League Forum, among other offences, last month.
Standardsport is in possession of the letter, which is believed to have irked Zifa and landed Ndebele in trouble.
In the letter addressed to Zifa on August 27 and copied to the now suspended director general of the SRC Prince Mupazviriho, the PSL questioned the allocation of Fifa Covid-19 relief funds and made some financial demands.
It is clear from the letter provided by one of the PSL governors, who requested anonymity, that Ndebele merely communicated the views of the league members.
“The Premier Soccer League appreciates Zifa has the sole prerogative to disburse Fifa Covid-19 relief funds,” Ndebele wrote.
“It is appreciated that the funds have to benefit all the association’s affiliates. The league is of the view that the allocation of a total sum of US $110 000 to 18 PSL clubs and the league administration is not adequate to start the PSL competitions.
“We trust that you will appreciate that the PSL and its member clubs employ more than 750 processional employees.
“These clubs and the league have been paying salaries and related expenses for their employees since January 2020 and some clubs have been failing to meet monthly salary payments.”
Ndebele added: “We further request that the funds allocated to referees and the coaches in the total sum of US$120 000 be allocated to the PSL players’ salaries/allowances. We propose to pay the referees from the gate takings when we resume competitions.”
The PSL also questioned Zifa’s decision to backtrack on their initial promise, which could have further rattled the football governing body.
“During the consultative meeting held on July 20 between the Zifa executive committee and the PSL governors, it was agreed that Zifa will revert [sic] to the PSL on the disbursements of the Fifa Forward 2.0 Funds,” Ndebele’s letter read.
“Would you kindly elaborate on how the funds are distributed since the footnote on the disbursement schedule states that ‘the other Zifa grants will be used as per the Forward 2.0 template’. We request that the sum of US$50 000 be paid to the PSL.”
The letter was copied to PSL chairman Farai Jere, his deputy Lifa Ncube, the league’s emergency committee, governors and Mupazviriho.
After that letter, Zifa made a further array of allegations against Ndebele saying he was undermining the association and bringing the game of football into disrepute.
He is also accused of penning another letter to the World League Forum without seeking authorisation from the association, making statements in the press deemed unfavourable to Zifa concerning the resumption of football and failing on request to furnish Zifa with details of club accounts.
Ndebele wrote to Zifa in response eight days later, absolving himself saying fingers could not be pointed at him in his personal capacity as he was an employee of the PSL.