FIFA has not cut funding to Zambia but the association did not access their project fund allocation.
Explanation: Why Zambia did not access US $ 2.5 in last three years from FIFA
Since the inception of the FIFA Forward initiative in 2016, Member associations have been entitled to US $500 000 operational costs and a further USD $750 000 to use on tailored projects annually. However the world football governing body has a certain criteria that member associations should meet prior to accesing the funds.
FIFA is keen on making sure the huge sums of money that they are investing are being put to good use, Hence accountability is a key component of the whole set up.
The MA that wants to access the project fund is responsible for drafting a project proposal, including the schedule for its implementation and financial conditions (compulsory submission of the standard form, contract of agreed objectives, and supporting documents). Another matter FIFA does not compromise on is the issue of following the tender process.
Sounds simple right?, Well yes and no. According to Mr. Veron Mosengo-Omba, who is the Director of Member Association and Development for Africa and the Caribbean at FIFA, Most MAs had never handled such huge amounts of money prior to 2016 hence lacked the capacity to absorb and utilize the funds.
“Yes I have to admit that there is a low rate of the utilisation of the FIFA fund but there are reasons as to why it like that. It’s the first time most of these MAs to manage some huge amounts hence they lack the capacity to absorb these monies and implement projects that’s why they delay” he said.
Mosengo-Omba revealed that FIFA was keen on building the necessary capacity or help MAs in building capacity to improve the rate at which funds are utilized.
In Africa, 171 Projects in Total have been approved and USD $38’945’121.42 has been committed which is however only 32.1% of USD 121’500’000 (maximum available) for 2016-2018 cycle of the FIFA forward fund.
The council of Southern African football Associations has the biggest distribution of approved projects but however Zambia is among the 18 countries that have not accessed the funds.
The association could not access the funds even if they wanted to do so because they had a running project.
The School of Excellence project in Luanshya was yet to be completed hence the Association could not get the ‘Tailored project $750 000’ money for the last three years. FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala confirmed that the project has now completed and the Association will access the funds to move into phase two.
“We did not access the funds yes because we already have a running project that we found in Luanshya. We can not access funds minus giving FIFA a certificate of completion,” Kashala told The ZamFoot crew in an exclusive interview.
“We have had fruitful discussions with all the people involved and we will soon be able to access the fund for the second phase because that which we have just completed is the first phase, ” he added.
The association had a meeting with FIFA two week ago on the way forward for the next cycle (2019-2022) which FIFA are calling FIFA Forward 2.0.
In the new cycle MAs will be entitled to an improved operation cost amounting to $1 Million annually and a further $2 million for tailored projects (for the whole cycle 2019-2022).
Under the new cycle the MAs earning below US $4million will be entitled to travel solidarity of up to US $ 200 000 and a further US $ 200 000 for equipment solidarity to be released in two milestones, January 2019 and January 2021.
With the increased funding FIFA has also tightened their conditions which will now see MAs sign contracts of agreed objectives with the football governing body, Which is a written agreement between FIFA and each MA clearly setting out the joint aims of the two parties in agiven period.
FIFA has set 28th February 2019 as Deadline for submission of forms in preparation for the central audit for effective implementation of the FIFA Forward 2.0 programme.
30 June 2019 has been set as the deadline for signing of Contract of agreed objectives by FIFA and the MAs as well as for submission of statutory audit report.
From the above explanation it’s clear FIFA have not cut funding to Zambia but the association did not access US$ 2.5 million entitled to them due to a running project.
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