2 of the country’s traditional football giants Highlanders FC and Dynamos FC are reportedly leading the calls for ZIFA to disburse the bailout package from FIFA in hard currency, the Chronicle reports.
Local clubs are supposed to benefit for the bailout package that came from FIFA to help clubs wade through the COVID-19 pandemic. ZIFA is set to disburse the money to clubs in local currency as it announced it will extent ZWL $25.7 million to the PSL to be given to clubs to help them mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Highlanders Chairman Kenneth Mhlope spoke to the publication asked why ZIFA was paying them in local currency whilst they were given US Dollars by FIFA:
Look, we are grateful that aid has finally come to cushion us during these tough times. Under these circumstances, it will be wise if we are to be paid in foreign currency to preserve value of the funds because if you look at the economic environment, rates change every week and that makes it impossible to keep the money for a long time in local currency.
We are aware that Fifa is sending the money in US dollars and some are already asking why Zifa is not asking clubs to open nostro accounts and transfer funds instead of the association ‘burning’ the US dollar and giving clubs local currency.
Dynamos’ chairman Isaiah Mupfurutsa also made similar comments and said:
I think it’s wise to be given the relief funds in forex because it doesn’t make sense for you as a club to go back and look for US dollars when you want to pay for some services. Rates change every week, meaning by the time you use that money the value would have been long hit by rates. We want the bailout in US dollars and that is also the view of most of our colleagues,
Bulawayo Chiefs Lovemore Sibanda also shared the same sentiments with Mupfurutsa and Mhlope and said:
It’s not that when I get the relief fund I have to use it on a single day so that we get the most for the value; we have to spread it over time. Imagine, there is talk of the league starting in September, part of this money should be budgeted for activities leading to the start of the season. I trust that there are wise people who will see the value of our contributions and reconsider paying us in local currency
ZIFA is yet to make their decision for disbursing the funds in ZWL known since the government lifted the ban on local payments in USD when the lockdown started.