By Raymond Jaravaza
The Zimbabwe Football Association stooped to “a new low” when the association allegedly paid Mighty Warriors and national women’s Under-20 players $15 on arrival home from two regional tournaments.
The Mighty Warriors and the Under-20 women’s football team had a strenuous week of competitive football in South Africa with the senior side settling for a bronze medal after beating Botswana 3-0 at the conclusion of the Cosafa Women’s Championship on Sunday.
To add salt to injury the ladies were bungled into a bus and travelled a gruelling road distance of over 1 000km from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, South Africa, after Zifa reportedly failed to secure flights on time.
The ladies’ troubles were not over yet.
After touching down at the Robert Mugabe International Airport they were asked to board a bus to Zifa Village to receive their allowances.
“The ladies were made to wait hours before boarding a bus to the Zifa Village to sign for their allowances. Each player was given $15 via EcoCash and those based outside were booked into Zifa Village to be paid the following day.
“They were then dropped at Town House (Harare City Council offices) and told to find their way home $15 richer,” said a source privy to the developments.
The source bemoaned the unfair treatment of the Mighty Warriors compared to their male counterparts — the Warriors — who are paid hefty allowances while on national duty but rarely justify the payments with deserving performances on the football pitch.
It’s not the first time that Zifa has paid the Mighty Warriors peanuts after the girls represented the country on major tournaments.
In April 2018 after the Mighty Warriors beat Namibia 4-0 on aggregate in an Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier, Zifa paid the players $5 transport money for those based in Harare and less than $20 for those travelling out of the capital city.
The team, however, refused to disperse and staged a sit-in at the Zifa Village in protest.
Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela said transport allowances were paid to the players depending on where they are based.
“It’s not true that we paid players RTGS$15, and in any case transport allowances are not uniform and are paid depending on where each individual player is based. The players will be paid their dues and that is a contractual issue that is between the players and the association,” said Gwesela. B-Metro