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Zifa strikes gold

by Staff reporter
02 Jun 2020 at 09:25hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) is set to rake in millions of dollars after the local soccer-controlling body engaged world soccer governing body Fifa in a lucrative marketing deal in which they will broadcast Warriors' World Cup matches.

Zifa acting vice-president Phillemon Machana revealed yesterday that the association was taking advantage of Fifa's strategic positioning and entered into a deal with them to help them realise revenue from the marketing of Warrior's World Cup matches.

The deal, Machana said, would see Fifa entering into broadcast deals on behalf of Zifa.

"We have engaged Fifa to market our World Cup matches across the world. All we do is to feed them with the match-es the Warriors will be playing and they market the games on our behalf to the international football community and that is the only way we identified as a key strategy that can help us as an association to generate a lot of revenue through broadcasting rights," he said.

"If you look at other countries like South Africa and Ghana, they rake in a lot of money through broadcasting rights. For example, South African Football Association (Safa) and SABC have a deal which gives them R1O million a year, but because of the size of our economy, it is not possible for us to get that kind of money and you can't blame ZBC for that. It is down to our economy, it's a small economy.

"So, we have capitalised on the offer by Fifa, who said 'those who cannot market their games to the international community we can do so on their behalf', so basically the agreement is that we market our World Cup games locally and Fifa will market them to the outside world on our behalf; which will give us huge sums of money.

"If we want to develop, we must not limit our horizons, we must not narrow our potential to make money. This is why we have taken this initiative to engage Fifa to help us with marketing our games to the outside world, which will give us millions of dollars. What happens is that we won't be paid after every game, but at the end of the entire campaign."

Machana, however, said they were yet to engage Confederation of African Football (Caf) in respect of the marketing of the African Cup of Nations games as the continental soccer-controlling body still had "issues" with some of their commercial partners.

The Zifa acting vice-president also cleared the air on the US$200 000 each member association will receive from Caf as part of a package to ease the financial burden in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralysed sport across the globe.

Machana said the money was meant for use by the association for various football development initiatives.

"We have noticed there is a lot of anxiety on the said grant from Cat A lot of people are anxious to see how it will be shared. This money is given to each member association every year to assist them in their football-related activities. For example, we can use it for youth league football and other football development programmes and what Caf has done is to say because of this COVID-19, no football activity is taking place, so they waivered the eligibility requirements because normally, every association must acquit itself and auditors also sup-port that it was used for football-related activities. So this grant must not be construed or confused, it is meant for the association and in this case, US$20 000 is for the Zifa president meant for expenses incurred in running the game and US$180 000 is for the association to fund its operations. This includes payment of staff salaries, board meetings and other various activities undertaken by the association," Machana said.

"This is not a lot of money, if I can put it that way. If we think US$200 000 is a lot of money, then we won't grow as a footballing nation. We must not limit our horizons in terms of making money. We must not think of making money from gate takings. We must think of making money from football through broad-casting rights like the rest of the world."

Nevertheless, Machana said the fact that they had bailed out other affiliates, they were hoping to do the same to Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs from the Fifa grant "Fifa is expected to meet soon to consider our request and we hope we will be able to bail out PSL clubs like we have done with other affiliates," he said.

Source - newsday