Zimbabwean football has suffered a major setback after FIFA decided to eliminate them from the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers – even before it has begun – due to the outstanding payments that the national team have with former coach Jose ClaudineiGeorgini.
Zimbabwe are currently coached by Ian Gorowa and the team has largely been playing in friendly matches and African tournaments due to their latest suspension from FIFA. The lack of support from the government means that Zimbabwean FA finds itself in a huge amount of debt. As a result, they have been unable to pay their former coach.
The communications manager of the Zimbabwe FA says that they will be appealing against this decision by the world football Council. However, any resolution will have to be swift since the World Cup qualifying matches will start from October once the draw is made in July. Zimbabwe have never qualified for a World Cup tournament and they do not seem in a great position to do so once again. The team were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the qualification stage to add to the misery. The last competitive match played by Zimbabwe was back in June 2014 when they were involved in a 2-2 draw against Tanzania during the two legged qualification match.
“We have already started to engage authorities in Zurich. In any process you can appeal – just because a ruling has been declared, it doesn’t mean the door has been closed.We’ve been liaising with Fifa and asking for a payment plan. We assume full responsibility of the debt, but the queue is pretty long.There are also former national team coaches Tom Saintfiet and Sunday Chidzambwa, and we owe money to banks,” said the communications manager of ZIFA, which has close to £ 3 million in debt.