By Ellina Mhlanga
Following Sunday’s ugly events, which saw the Mighty Warriors boycotting their Olympic qualifier at the National Sports Stadium, a light has now been cast on the chaos leading to the humiliating incident.
It has emerged ZIFA failed to fulfil their promise to pay the players their dues for their participation at the COSAFA Women’s championships within the period they had agreed.
The senior women’s side won bronze at the regional football tournament but are still to receive their allowances.
Sources close to the events within the team’s camp revealed ZIFA failed to live up to their promise.
They had agreed with the clubs’ representatives, representing the players, that they would pay up the outstanding dues when the team returned from Zambia.
The first leg of the battle was in Lusaka last Wednesday and the Mighty Warriors collapsed in the second half to concede five goals and lose 0-5. The team’s trip to Zambia, for the first leg, had also been hanging in balance over the same issue.
However, an agreement was struck and the players got US$150 each for the first leg which was paid just before they left for Lusaka.
“When we went to Zambia there was an agreement that when we return we would get our money from COSAFA,’’ sources, who chose not to be named, told The Herald.
“So, when we came back, there was no money. I think they did not agree with ZIFA, then clubs took players from camp on Saturday.
“The players just went home and no one returned. The main issue is about money.
“For COSAFA, it’s $4 500 but we have not received anything . . .For the Zambia game (first leg) they agreed with clubs and the players got US$150 for that particular game just before we left.
“When they presented the US$150 that’s when clubs released players but the money was just for that away game and not for the home game.”
ZIFA communications and competitions manager, Xolisani Gwesela, admitted they still owe the team and had agreed, before the team left for Zambia, they were going to pay.
“As ZIFA, we have never abdicated from our responsibilities of paying these players.
“Yes, we might owe . . . ZIFA is operating in the dynamics of the Zimbabwean economy, the economic situation out there is very harsh and ZIFA has not been spared.” The Herald