By Grace Chingoma
ZIFA have revealed that they will not ask Warriors coach to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus pandemic since they are still in a comfortable financial position to meet his monthly salary as per contract.
It is believed that Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic earns a salary of US$7 000 per month although his package was never made public when the association unveiled him as the coach of the senior national football team in February.
Barely a month after he assumed duty, football went into lockdown before the coach had guided the national team to the CHAN finals and Africa Cup of Nations back-to-back qualifiers against Algeria.
Last week Loga told The Herald that he does not feel comfortable to receive a salary for something he has not worked for and wants international football to bounce back soon.
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo said football inactivity should not affect their contract with the expatriate, but expect the subject to be discussed further in a fortnight when the board convenes with effects of the coronavirus on sport on top of the agenda.
However, Kamambo doesn’t expect a drastic decision to be taken regarding the coach’s remuneration since they had a solid financial position which inspired them to hire a foreign coach early this year.
“We did our plan before hiring him so we will continue to pay our coach according to our contract. I am not expecting the board to make drastic charges on that.
“We are happy that for the first time the association is able to meet their financial obligations regarding the coach’s welfare. We don’t owe him any cent. We also don’t owe any of our staff members any money. ZIFA had gained notoriety for not paying coaches and at one time it even cost us a run in the World Cup qualifiers. But those are now things of the past. We have opened a new leaf as the association,” said Kamambo.
Highlanders recently parted ways with head coach Mark Harrison after their external sponsors, who were paying the Briton’s salary, indicated that they were no longer in a position to meet his wages.
Kamambo said they are trying to be transparent and thrifty with the association’s finances.
“We already have US$500 000 for the remaining six months. But we will not just spend because it was availed us a bit early. We will continue to operate the way we were doing so that by the time football returns we will be prepared to cater for all the national teams that have competitions that are currently on hold.
“We cannot have a situation where ZIFA are known as cry babies, seeking for resources at the eleventh hour every time. We have to (make a) budget and stick to that. So the money we received will go to usual operations which include national teams travel, junior leagues as well as staff,” Kamambo said.
The ZIFA president also said the board meeting will also discuss on the COVID-19 relief package which they have requested from FIFA.
The world’s football governing body has since requested for additional information and Kamambo is optimistic that they will eventually get the money.
“When the money comes we will assist all our football affiliates. We will have a board meeting in two weeks time which will address all these issues related to the coronavirus and its effects on our game.”
FIFA has availed a relief fund which is still going through the approval processes and the assistance will be according to each member association’s needs.
In the meantime ZIFA have provided a cushion of $2 000 to each elite referee.
The association has also resolved to pay Sports Commission levy on behalf of its 24 500 registered athletes and officials.
Kamambo said these funds came from the savings made from the ZIFA coffers in the first half of the year.
At the beginning of the year, the association received the first US$500 000 from FIFA as part of their financial assistance grant from Zurich.