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January 4 deadline for Zimbabwe to settle former coach Saintfiet debt or no World Cup 2022
08/12/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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AS THE new Zifa Board, chaired by Phillip Chiyangwa met in Harare on Tuesday, the stark reality is that if they fail to pay former Warriors coach Tom Saintfiet $150,000 by January 4, then Zimbabwe is out of the 2022 World Cup due to take place in Qatar.

Chiyangwa is the new president, with Omega Sibanda returning to the board as his deputy.

Premier Soccer League chairman, Twine Phiri, women’s football boss Elizabeth Langa, while Edzai Kasinauyo, Philemon Machana, Piraishe Mabhena and Felton Kamambo occupy the other seats on the board.

The Warriors are already banned from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after failing to settle an $81,000 debt owed to another former coach Jose Claudinei Valinhos.

The Fifa Disciplinary Committee has handed down judgement on Saintfiet’s case and on Saturday, a Fifa representative who observed the Zifa elections at Mt Hampden that ushered in Chiyangwa confirmed that Zimbabwe simply has to pay up by that date or risk expulsion.

Saintfiet was handed a four-year deal in 2010, but only took charge of two training sessions in one day before he was deported for working without a work permit.

He then sued for half a million dollars, but the Fifa DC whittled down his claim to $150,000.

Zifa’s debts, according to audited accounts presented on Saturday, indicate that the beleaguered association is in the red to the tune of over $5 million.

They owe former president Cuthbert Dube $438 222.

As of December last year, Zifa’s debt sat at $5 015 426 and it could have increased, with interest accruing on loans, while the association has been facing litigation from former employees.

Compared with 2013, last year, Zifa saw more money coming into its coffers from both Caf and Fifa through grants.

The association received $486,966 from Fifa, while Caf poured in $401,579 up from $184,963 and $103,140 respectively from the previous year.

Employee costs gobble almost half a million dollars and there is not much of a difference between 2013 and last year, despite retrenchments which cost Zifa $160,000.

As at December 2014, Zifa’s debt to CBZ Bank, where they accessed an overdraft facility, but failed to repay, stood at $1 968 633.

The non-servicing of the debt has already seen Dube losing his Waterfalls house, which he had used as collateral to access the facility.


The association received $120,000 from player and club registrations, the same amount from match levies, as well as $125,000 from the government. The report shows that Zifa’s properties have a value of $1 739 000.

The association owns the Zifa Village in Mt Hampden, as well as the property that houses its headquarters in Harare, while it also owns a house in Kensington and its offices in Bulawayo.

LED Travel and Tours, which is owned by former Zifa board member (finance) Bernard Gwarada is owed over $300,000 and wants to attach the properties. Zifa is arguing that the properties do not belong to the association but to a company called Zifa (Pvt) Ltd.

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