By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
3 April 2014
ZIFA chairman Cuthbert Dube is pushing the association to turn to farming to raise funds for the cash strapped local football body.
But his suggestion has been described as ‘insane and out of touch’ with modern football administration by the game’s administrators and players. Dube, who was controversially re-elected the ZIFA boss at the weekend, has asked government to give his association several farms around the country, according to the BBC.
During Dube’s first tenure as head of ZIFA, the association accrued a debt of US$6m, adversely affecting the operations of the badly managed body.
‘Maybe some people will ask if I’m still alright in my head, but we are going to diversify into farming in a very big way. I’ve already started talking to the responsible government ministry, as we’ve got the land reform programme. We are going to do cattle ranching and crop farming,’ said Dube.
However former Caps United footballer Innocent Mugabe, now a holder of a UEFA B coaching licence in the UK, said Dube’s plans are not in sync with modern football.
‘That is (farming) not the way to run football. You end up losing focus of running the game and eventually spend more time worrying about farming activities.
‘In modern football you cannot escape joining hands with the corporate world to succeed in football management,’ said Mugabe.
He added: ‘What Dube needs to do as a matter of urgency is to form an advisory body made up former coaches, administrators and players. This body will advise him of how to approach issues in this modern day era of football management.’
Three years ago the then Finance minister Tendai Biti, a huge football fan, told ZIFA that government would not fund the game until the local football governing body put its house in order.
The MDC-T secretary-general, a Black Rhinos and Arsenal supporter, accused ZIFA of ‘ruining’ the country’s most popular sport and running it like a ‘tuck-shop.’
‘Football associations around the world make a lot of money if they are run properly and professionally, but here you are running it like a ‘tuck-shop.’ thereby contributing to the demise of the good sport.”