By Robson Sharuko
The Arabian feast – which saw the Warriors getting a cool US$5 000 in appearance fees per game and US$3 000 for a draw at the 2019 AFCON finals – is over.
ZIFA have now come up with vastly-reduced payments schedules for national team assignments starting with 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The Warriors get their World Cup campaign underway against Somalia, on the neutral fields of Djibouti, in a preliminary round qualifier.
But, the players who are coming in to represent their nation will not enjoy the rich pickings, which were at the Nations Cup finals in Egypt, which ended up creating conflict between the team, and ZIFA, as the association struggled to finance the financial requirements of the campaign.
From earning as much as US$5 000 in appearance fees at the AFCON finals, players now have to settle for all payments in local currency with appearance fees, for the World Cup qualifier against Somalia, reduced to $200 in local currency.
Should the Warriors win both legs of their World Cup qualifier against Somalia, they will pocket $2 000, in local currency, representing $1 000 for each victory.
When they are in camp, at home, the players will get a daily allowance of $75 in local currency and, when they reach foreign soil, it is increased to $85 a day in local currency, too.
The appearance fee, for the match against Somalia, is now $200, in local currency, while, should the match end in a draw, the players will receive $500 each in local currency. The contracts have to be signed by each player and sent back to ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse before the players enter camp.
It’s a far cry from what they were earning in Egypt where their camp as transformed into a theatre of chaos, with players repeatedly threatening not to fulfill their Group A assignments, including the opener against hosts Egypt, unless they had been paid their dues.
ZIFA said they agreed to pay the players US$1 500, per game, in appearance fees, during their 2019 AFCON finals campaign with the other US$3 500 set to be secured from proceeds from the fund-raising committee, bringing the total to US$5 000 per player per game.
The players were also meant to get a daily allowance of US$100 and, while they did not win a single match in Cairo, their draw against Uganda fetched them a cool US$3 000 each.
Ahead of the final group game against Uganda, ZIFA agreed terms with the Warriors, which would see the association paying each member of the team, at least, US$2 500, on the eve of the match while a further US$3 000 was expected to be channelled into the players’ and technical staff’s accounts by the fundraising committee.
The players had wanted to be paid, at least, US$12 050 each on the eve of the game, which would include their final US$5 000 appearance fee for the match against the DRC, before they could commit themselves to fulfilling that game.
However, the team’s head of delegation, Farai Jere, who is also a ZIFA board member, told The Herald a follow-up meeting cracked that impasse and the Warriors agreed to fulfil their remaining commitments here if they were paid US$5 500 on the eve of the match against the Congolese.
Jere revealed they had already paid, at least, US$12 050 to each player and members of their technical staff and the payment of a further US$2 500, and the US$3 000 expected from the fundraising committee, would take the payments to each member of the team to, at least, US$17 550.
‘’I think, we have done quite well in terms of trying to meet the financial obligations to the players and their coaching staff and, if you include the bonus for the draw against Uganda, which is US$3 000, we would be left with a balance of about US$6 650, to each of them, after today’s payments,’’ he told The Herald.
‘’From a sum of, at least, US$24 200 for each member of the team, if you factor in the US$3 000 draw bonus and the US$5 000 appearance fee for the upcoming game against the DRC, you can see that we haven’t done as badly as we are being portrayed in some circles in terms of our commitments to the team.’’
Now, ZIFA – who were also accused by some critics of committing themselves to paying far beyond their capacity at the AFCON finals – have come up with a contract, which players have to sign before the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which show vastly-reduced earnings for the Warriors.
The contract sent by ZIFA to the players, ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, reads:
‘’Whereas the ZIFA has called up the Player for national duty, and whereas the Player has accepted the call, it is therefore agreed as follows:
1.2 Match means any match participated in by the National team which has been staged, sanctioned by or played under the auspices of ZIFA.
1.3. National Duty means the period he is with the National Team.
1.4. National Team means the following: the Zimbabwe senior men’s national football team, senior women’s national football team or men’s Under 23 national football team.
‘’The player shall not make any media statements or conduct interviews on the terms and conditions contained herein or any matters specified by the Association without its prior written approval
‘’Shall behave in a professional manner that is not detrimental to the Association, national team, the game or sport and the Zimbabwean national in general with unsportsmanlike or other such conduct;
‘’The Association shall:
3.1. Deposit the agreed remuneration benefits into the Player’s bank account as in when funds are available and when the duty has been performed. However, the Association can opt to pay before performance of duty provided funds are available.
3.2. Supply all playing apparel (excluding footwear and goalkeeping gloves);
3.3. Arrange adequate accommodation, transportation and all relevant needs for the Player during national duty;
3.4. To ensure that the Player’s needs are covered during National Duty
‘’The Association shall remunerate the Player in local currency (ZW$) as follows: Local daily allowance $ 75; Foreign daily allowance $ 85; Appearance $200; Winning bonus $ 1000; Draw Bonus $ 500.’’ The Herald