No Funding for Independence Cup

Henrietta Rushwaya, ZIFA’s chief executive told RadioVOP Wednesday that the government has not yet responded to the football association’s request for funding and was likely call off the tournament.

“We presented a budget of US$ 54 000 to cover the teams kits, transport, accommodation and prize money for the participating teams. We were asked to revise down the budget to US$24 000 but as we speak we have not received a single cent. We might be forced to call off the tournament. We cannot let the clubs play for nothing. It is unfortunate but we cannot squeeze water out of a stone,” Rushwaya said.

The semi finals were scheduled to be played on Thursday (April 15) subject to the release of the funds from treasury. The semi finals will pit Dynamos and Njube Sundowns at Rufaro Stadium, while the other semi final will pit Shooting Stars and Lengthens at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

Initially ZIFA had indicated that Shooting Stars would play Highlanders in order to draw the crowds, despite finishing seventh in the Premiership last season.

The slot had been initially reserved for the league champions Monomotapa, who flew out of the country for the African Champions League. Traditionally, only the top four teams in the previous season are considered for the competition.

“We decided to include Lengthens because we discovered it would cause unnecessary controversy if included Highlanders. We decided to seed the teams according to last year’s log standings,” Rushwaya said.

The finals are slated for April 18.