ZIFA in the following statement that urged journalist to let football do the talking said the letter that was published by the Chronicle claiming FIFA might cut funding to ZIFA because of bad governance was misleading and written in error. ZIFA said FIFA conducts independent audits and the allegations made by the Chronicle reporter were imaginary and not real. Read the lengthy statement dated 24 August 2020 below:
ZIFA RESPONSE TO MISCHIEVOUS CHRONICLE ARTICLE
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) once again would like to correct the mischievous story published in the Chronicle of Monday 24th of August 2020 and initially posted on its online platform on Sunday the 23rd of August 2020.
The story by the increasingly desperate journalist Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo sought to once again mislead the consuming and innocent public by casting aspersions that Zifa was at risk to lose future Fifa funding for allegedly paying covid funds ahead of receipt of the grant by Fifa.
While Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo went on to paint a gloomy picture and alleged unsubstantiated acts of bad governance by Zifa and even went to quote an already known Fifa position to withhold funds to any member Association which fails to correctly use or account for Fifa Grants, the story however fails to link how Zifa by paying in advance may have violated Fifa guidelines.
Zifa encourages journalists like Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo to seek help from financially schooled persons for proper interpretations of Fifa guidelines on funds use before recklessly exposing their lack of understanding of otherwise basic financial prudence and normal transacting processes.
Zifa understands the dilemma that Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo of the Chronicle is having and consequently misleading the public.
It is now abundantly clear that Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo is desperately trying to clean the messy he caused and the embarrassment he brought onto the State newspaper like the Chronicle by churning clear falsehoods.
The latest story is clearly another desperate failed attempt to try and correct a wrong story but sadly the Chronicle reporter is worsening the earlier lie.
Zifa therefore wish to inform the public that it has done nothing wrong and that the Association is not at all under any risk of failing to access future Fifa Grants.
While the Chronicle Newspaper continues to mislead gullible and innocent members of the public, Fifa always carry independent audits on all its funds it gives to Member Associations, Zifa included and does not rely on hearsay, rumours and misleading lies but act only from verified records as audited by them from time to time.
Zifa remain in good standing with Fifa and will continue to religiously observe Fifa guidelines on funds use as they relate to all grants received.
Zifa therefore wish to allay any fears by the public from the latest misleading article from the Chronicle and reassure all soccer loving Zimbabweans that there is no threat of future grants.
Zifa enjoys a cordial perfect professional relationship with Fifa and that relationship under the current Zifa administration can only grow for the benefit of our football.
The Association shall not be cowed by threats of the mighty pen to throw away the clear mandate to grow the game.
Zifa is aware of unscrupulous elements that have terrorized football by abusing the pen as a means to their desired but selfish means.
The Association urges all to ignore the sensational misleading article.
While what Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo insinuated by quoting Fifa with regards to Fifa guidelines is a public fact, what is however a huge lie is an allegation by the reporter that Zifa violated those guidelines and was therefore at risk to lose funding.
Such can only be Mr Moyo’s imagination running wild.
It would appear that Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo is one of the very few journalists who is not happy that the covid assistance was extended to affiliates and players by Zifa.
Zifa will however not be swayed by the mischievous stories calculated to cause alarm and despondency but will as per our motto let football do the talking.
We are disappointed by Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo who is definitely no longer practicing fair balanced journalism. The journalist seem so focused on using his pen and the State asset, the Chronicle to churn false stories.
We hope the nation will soon remember to ask and remind Mr Sikhumbuzo Moyo why he lied when Zifa continues to receive the next tranche of grants.
That day is not far and surely journalists like everyone must equally account for their actions and articles. Governance applies to all of us including journalists and while we will always ensure that transparency, accountability and good governance are our moral compass at Zifa.
Let football do the talking.
ZIFA COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT