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Warriors financier, Wicknell Chivayo marked the restoration of his relationship with Zifa by paying off Zimbabwe senior men’s national team coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s salary, which was in arrears.
Chivayo presented Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa with $30 000 cash, with $21 000 being payment of Pasuwa’s salary for three months, while the rest was donated to the Mighty Warriors.
The businessman said he rescinded his decision to turn his back on football after advice from First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Chivayo had quit sponsoring football after reports emerged that he had failed to pay Pasuwa his $7 000 a month contract which he had committed to do.
Pasuwa signed his contract with Zifa in February, but did not receive his salary for that month and March, but yesterday Chivayo paid the full amount, including the April salary.
He said going forward Pasuwa would get his money on the first day of each month.
Pasuwa was not there to receive salary, which was then handed over to Chiyangwa.
Chivayo said he would continue funding Warriors projects through Chiyangwa, whom he entered into a personal agreement with.
He said he will pay the Warriors $250 000 if they qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals and also said he will release more funds for the Mighty Warriors, who recently qualified for the Afcon and the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“I want to make it clear that we have settled our differences. I want to make it clear that I do this to support the national cause. Based on advice that I was given by the First Lady that I should not throw tantrums or overreact at the expense of the nation, everything promised to the Warriors will be fulfilled. We will continue the way we have been operating. I will continue to get instructions from Chiyangwa, I do not communicate with Zifa since I have no relationship with them.”
Chivayo claims to have pumped in $600 000 into football some of which was used to purchase two vehicles for Pasuwa and Mighty Warriors coach, Shadreck Mlauzi.
He signed a deal with Chiyangwa where he promised the cash-strapped association $1 million to be paid in three years.
Chiyangwa said the association had struggled to pay the Mighty Warriors and other workers because Zifa was failing to access its funds that were released by Caf to a local bank.
“My partner, Chivayo is supporting me in my personal capacity, he is not a Zifa sponsor. He is supporting my tenure as the Zifa president. Since we came in, things have normalised. Since independence, we have not had a single person who does as much as he did. We have had a lot of success, we have had good results in both the men and women’s game and it is all because of the support of Chivayo,” Chiyangwa said.
“The past weeks have not been good for him because of the bad publicity, but he has decided to come back. It was because of the meeting he had in Dubai with the First Lady, she was meeting Chivayo on my behalf, to say let’s continue working together.”
He said Chivayo had done a lot for the local game, where companies are finding it difficult to part with money as sponsorship.
“People have said a lot about him, they have commented about his stint in jail, but I have been imprisoned before, it happens in life. We should not lose our sponsor because of this, for now he is the only person, who is pouring in money in our game. Without him we may not have registered these recent successes in football.”
Zifa is in negotiations with a local company over sponsorship deal and Chiyangwa said that they had made considerable success in the discussions.
Both the Warriors and Mighty Warriors have commitments this year, with the senior men’s team set to clash with Malawi in in June, while the women’s team ready themselves for the Olympics and Afcon.
Zifa have secured an international friendly for the Mighty Warriors, where they will play New Zealand in Brazil just before the start of the Olympics.
Chiyangwa said that they would want to organise more friendly matches for the two teams, funds permitting, promising that he will engage Chivayo in that regard. By Kevin Mapasure. source newsday