By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
The Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) has suspended Zimbabwe from participating in next year’s tournament and slapped Zifa with a US$200 000 fine, as government threw its weight behind the national association’s decision to pull out of the hosting agreement.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry said hosting the 2019 Cosafa tournament would have been a bad deal as it needed a government guarantee of US$2 million against projected gate takings of US$45 000.
In its letter of suspension, Cosafa said Zifa ought to have complied with the terms of the suspensive verdict by June 30, 2019. The US$200 000 fine must be paid by August 15, 2019, failure to which all representative national sides will also be barred from contesting in any and all Cosafa tournaments.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association was supposed to have complied with the terms of the suspensive verdict by 30th June 2019, failure to which the terms of the original verdict would be applied. You are hereby notified that due to the fact that the terms of the suspensive verdict have not been fulfilled, the terms of the original verdict dated 25th April 2019 are now applied as follows:
1. Zimbabwe Football Association is suspended from participating with its senior men’s national team in the 2020 edition of the Cosafa Cup.
2. Payment of the amount of US$200 000 (Two hundred thousand United States dollars) must be paid to Cosafa by deadline, 15th August 2019.
3. Failure to effect payment in terms of 2 above shall result in the suspension of Zimbabwe Football Association from participating in any and all Cosafa competitions until such time as payment of the fine has been met in full,” reads the letter from Cosafa general secretary Sue Destombes.
Minister Coventry said the deal was a bad one from the onset.
“Then #COSAFA want a guarantee that Zimbabwe will host the tournament next year to prevent a fine and suspension from the game in 2020? The same agreement? Total gate takings USD$45 000.00. You do the math. Where do all the gate takings go?
“Hosting #COSAFA this year was a bad deal. Zifa agreement required USD2 million from Government and they showed total gate takings from tournament as $45 000.00. You do the math,” Minister Coventry wrote on her Twitter timeline.
Zifa executive committee member in charge of finance Phillimon Machana said they were going to discuss the Cosafa sanction before issuing an appropriate response to the ban.
Cosafa is an association of the football playing nations in Southern Africa. It is affiliated to Caf. The Chronicle