There’s no deficit, Govt is committed to hosting U20 AFCON, says Sports Minister
Sports Minister Moses Mawere has said the Zambian government will release the funds towards the hosting of the African Youth Championship.
“There is no deficit. The deficit can come as a result of governmentt failing to meet certain obligations but we are still committed.
“The total budget which the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) gave us as government was K41million and we have already released 5million.
“We look at the ugency of the matter and right now we are in control. The bigger chunk of the budget will be used during the tournmanet.The money we released was good enough for FAZ to do some minor touches on the stadiums.
“When CAF inspectors came they raised some concerns and they have been addressed. Any funds requested by FAZ in their budget will be released at the appropriate time and I want to assure you that government can release funds overnight. Government will release the remainder at the appropriate time because it is meant for accommodation, food, transportation and computerization of rooms.
“Reports that there is a deficit are very unfair to government. It will be unfair to say the Local Organising Committee is operating on a deficit. The tournament will be hosted with or without private involvement. As government we called on private people to come on board because we did not want to stop anyone with good intentions.
*Hon Mawere on K50 Campaign:*
“I learnt about it yesterday when the FAZ President called me. He wants to have an audience with the Acting Permanent Secretary because I am currently in Chipata. He said there is a group of fans who want to contribute something towards the hosting of the tournament. And us as government we do not stop any initiative; it is not our program to ask people to …. But if they are willing to contribute, it is a welcome move. It is not our position as government that someone should contribute. If they are willing themselves we cannot stop them. This money is not given to government, it is given to the association which is FAZ. Even ourselves as government we are only supporting FAZ, because we do not interfere in the operation of FAZ.
“As government we finance their programs because Cabinet approved that government will always support FAZ activities such as hosting tournaments, sponsoring the senior national team and all those things. For example if FAZ tell us that they have enough money on their own then government does not come in. If they say that they have a shortfall, then government has to find that money.
“Government is mandated to find money requested by FAZ. It is us who approved the bid. They came to us with a proposal to host the tournament and we approved the bid. That means we are also committed financially.”
_The Minister of Sports, Youth and Child Development was speaking to Mutheliso Phiri_
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