Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA are expected to receive a US$200 000 financial injection from CAF, which represents their annual grant from the continent’s football controlling body.
CAF announced yesterday they will splash US$10,8 million into the coffers of their 54 members with each association getting US$200 000 each.
The organisation said they were also exploring the possibility of getting further funding which will be injected into their member associations to help the domestic leagues.
This clarification, from CAF, should also help clear the air given such allocations have torched some controversy in member associations of late.
Some leaders of top-flight clubs, in a number of countries across the continent, have been arguing they should be getting a share of the funds for their teams.
The CAF allocation also includes the US$20 000 which CAF pay to each leader of every national association on the continent.
The CAF executive committee decided three years ago to give a financial grant to each of their leaders of their federations of $20 0000, per annum, for expenses they incur running the game in their countries.
This, however, is dwarfed by the US$40 000 per month which CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, receives as a salary.
ZIFA board member in charge of finance, Philemon Machana, said although he had not seen the official correspondence from CAF, the association traditionally gets their annual grant around this time.
‘’I will check and revert, but off hand, we get an annual CAF grant every year around June to assist with our operations and developmental activities, including youth football,’’ he said. ‘’Requirement is that just like FIFA money, we acquit some for the previous year, before getting the current year funds.
‘’ZIFA has already acquired the 2019 grant though we will still send our audited financials after the Agm as independent verification of same.
‘’From my reading of the statement there may be some FAs which are yet to acquit for 2019 and these will still get the 2020 grant due to the waiver.
‘’But, l will need to see first the official letter to ZIFA from CAF.’’
CAF said their decision to fast track the release the financial grants to member associations was meant to help them alleviate the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘’At its meeting on Thursday (28 May 2020) via video-conference, the CAF Emergency Committee has approved the immediate distribution of financial grants to Member Associations to support the management of football at the domestic levels hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ CAF said in a press statement yesterday.
‘’A total of US$10,8 Million will be transferred to the 54 MAs on the continent as part of a relief plan to ease the financial burden on the African football community during these unprecedented times.’’
CAF president, Ahmad, said the pandemic had badly affected their member associations.
‘’Due to the fast-spread of COVID-19, African MAs have suspended all domestic competitions, which has brought about huge financial burdens on their shoulders,’’ he said. ‘’CAF has, thus, decided to waive the eligibility requirements to access the annual grants, so all MAs can benefit during this difficult period.
‘’Also, CAF is assessing the opportunity of additional financial support to MAs for the resumption and organisation of their domestic competitions.’’
The financial injection comes just two weeks after CAF, who were said to have been rocked by financial challenges a few months ago, distributed funds to clubs who took part in their inter-club competitions.
‘’Two weeks ago, CAF announced the distribution of US$3,5 million to the participants of the Inter-club competitions for the 2019/20 season,’’ the statement said.
‘’The two club competitions, Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup were suspended after the quarter-final matches due to COVID-19.
‘’Meanwhile, CAF is monitoring the situation closely and working with the relevant authorities, including the World Health Organisation, FIFA, amongst others, on the impact of the virus on the continent, and will announce developments to our competitions at the appropriate time.’’
ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, last week said the association were expected to hold a board meeting in a week’s time and effects of coronavirus on their sport will be top of the agenda.