THE Government has taken an interest in how Zifa used the US$1.8 million it received from Fifa as Covid-19 relief funds and will engage the national association on how the money was used.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry told senators on Thursday that while the Government was not allowed to interfere with any money coming from Fifa, it was aware of the fund and would ask Fifa to confirm what exactly that money was for.
She was responding to a question from Senator Piniel Denga, who said there are rumours circulating that the Fifa Covid-19 relief fund can’t be properly accounted for and wanted to know what the Ministry was doing about it.
Minister Coventry said the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) had been briefed about the rumours of abuse and was presently seized with the matter.
“I thank the Hon Senator for his question. The Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) has been hearing of these allegations and they are looking into it. However, as the Senators and Mr President Sir, you know that the Government is not allowed to interfere with any potential monies that come from Fifa. That being said, we will ask Fifa to just confirm whether or not these monies were sent and for what use that money was sent for to Zifa. As far as I am aware, there was money sent by Fifa to Zifa in order to resume the game of football and help in terms of testing players. Since that resumption is still under consideration, that money has not been released to the clubs as yet. I thank the Hon Senator for the question and will follow up and hopefully be able to come back with some more information,” responded Minister Coventry.
Fifa released over US$1 billion to all its 211-member associations as part of bailing out football from the devastating effects of Covid-19 that virtually grounded all sporting activity worldwide and changed the everyday way of life. Chronicle