Zimbabwe’s national football referees have bemoaned the paltry Covid-19 relief payment of US$80 (R1,400) received from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).
This comes after Morocco’s football federation paid its refs more than US$600 (R10,500) making Zifa’s payout of US$80 a pittance.
Zifa paid that amount last week to each of the top 80 referees in the country.
Referees confirmed receiving the payment but bemoaned the low amount considering the sky-rocketing prices of basic goods. Zimbabwe is experiencing severe economic difficulties and hyperinflation.
“We received the funds last week and yes it was $2000 bond (US$80) but considering the prices out there we hope they will give us another payout as football is being touted to make a return only in August,” one referee told Sunday News.
Referees across Africa only get paid on match days and with football on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic there have been concerns over the welfare of match officials. However, a majority of the match employed elsewhere.
According to reports, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF) opted to pay referees to cushion them in the wake of Covid-19. They were paid for the months of March, April and May.
Meanwhile, Botswana is also set to give referees a relief package, thanks to government’s intervention.
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By Mthokozisi Dube