World football governing board, FIFA has cut (reduced) its allocation to Football Association of Zambia, FAZ from $1.2m to $600,00 annually. Failure to abide by the conditionalities of the grant/Non satisfactory audits has led to the loss of $600,000 annual financial assistance. FAZ will now be receiving $50,000 per month instead of $1.2m annual grant.
FIFA grant, FIFA forward grant formerly called Financial Assistance Program (FAP) is a grant that FIFA gives to member associations annually (at times bi annual or quarterly). Zambia currently receives/entitled to K$1.2m per year starting in 2017. Prior to 2017, FAZ was receiving only $250,000 annually.
FIFA has set rules in terms of what the funds can be used and expects all member Associations to be compliant.
Immediately after every Financial year end, FIFA auditors (Currently KPMG in Zambia’s case) will Audit the financial books with a very specific purpose(s). How was the FIFA money spent? Was it spent on programs as per FIFA guidelines? Did the member Association get the value for money on money spent?
A clean audit(unqualified audit opinion) is a pre-requisite to receive FIFA grant for the next Financial year. Where a qualified Audit (non clean) opinion is issued, the member Association forfeits the grant or the amount is reduced.
Where are we as Zambia with regard to FIFA grant? The much needed FIFA grant has been reduced significantly, simply put FIFA has cut funding to FAZ.
Why has FIFA cut the funding to FAZ? Non compliance of set guidelines in the usage of the grant by FAZ has led to FIFA’s action. Insiders suggest other wise. According to Mr Kashala, it’s because of the previous Finance team/previous regime. (Quoted by Times of Zambia/ and in the long apology by Times of Zambia next day) Is Kashala’s position correct, not at all.
It is worthy noting that The Times of Zambia first quoted Mr Kashala blaming the previous regime for non financial compliance. When stakeholders questioned the validity of that excuse, especially that the grant changed format and also the value increased to $1.2m in 2017 when it was the current administration, Times of Zambia printed an apology the next day, suggesting that Mr Kashala was misquoted but instead blame was on the previous finance team. It must be noted here that the said finance team was only changed after there were leaked documents of payments to top FAZ officials of money from CAF for the under 20 Afcon. That aside.
For FAZ to access FIFA grant in 2016, it means 2015 Financial records were okay as per FIFA guidelines. Financial year ending 31st December, 2015 was the last Financial year reporting for the former executive. For those who may not know, Mr Rix Mweemba the current FAZ Vice President, a qualified FIFA Administrator was the FAZ treasurer in the last executive, so when did failure to comply with FIFA financial regulations start and how did compliance fall off his radar?
We are all aware that FAZ did receive the grant in 2016, 2017…not sure about 2018.
So how does the past executive/former Financial team come in now that FIFA has cut funding. The former executive left office 31 months ago, close to 3 years ago.
What next? If non compliance of FIFA grant continues, we risk losing the reduced monthly amount we are receiving. We demand FAZ to tell us what administrative measures have been put in place that will satisfy FIFA for FAZ to start accessing the lost “$600,00” that we are are not able to access on account of non compliance. Who are the erring officers/Excom members and what action had been taken against them?
Before telling us the corrective measures, it would be prudent for a regime that campaigned on the basis of Transparency and financial discipline, to explain to the nation the exact thing that FAZ did/didn’t do to cost the association a staggering $600,000, so much more money that was badly need.
By Maureen Kawengele, with edits by Patrice Aongola