Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent

THE Zimbabwe Football Association has committed to paying Covid-19 testing fees as the football governing body prepares for the return of the sport after getting Government approval.

In a statement, Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela said the association will also pay referees for the envisaged mini-tournament that will involve top flight teams in both the men and women’s game.

“Zifa is committed to leading the safe return of football by funding the testing of players and paying referees’ fees. We are still engaging government on how other cost centres can be funded to ensure that the return of football happens flawlessly.

“We are optimistic that Government and other stakeholders will collaborate with us to allow the safe return of football,” he said.

With Government insisting on a bubble tournament, questions have been arising on who will foot the various bills with accommodation and testing being top of the major expenses.

Zifa said they are hoping teams would have returned to training by Monday after which they will give clubs a six-week preparatory period before any competitive games are played.

“The bubble tournament could not have come at a better time because it will give our Warriors technical team the opportunity to select a competitive squad for the 2021 African Nations Championship (CHAN),” said Gwesela.

Government, through the Sport and Recreation Commission, gave football the greenlight to resume although only Premier Soccer League teams, women Super League and national teams are at the moment allowed to play.