Former Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa losing patience with Zifa

By Kennedy GondweBBC Sport
Zimbabwe flag
Zimbabwe flag

Former Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa is threatening to report the country's football association (Zifa) to Fifa, in a bid to recover money which he claims is owed to him.

Football's world governing body recently expelled the Warriors from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers as punishment for failing to pay former coach Jose Claudinei Georgini.

Zifa told BBC Sport they "acknowledge" they owe Gorowa money, and are "in the process" of working out a payment plan.

Gorowa was in charge of the Warriors in 2013 but quit the following year after Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

He claims he is owed close to $100 000 in salary arrears which he says he has failed to recover despite repeated reminders to Zifa as well as the country's sports ministry.

Gorowa told BBC Sport from his Johannesburg base that his patience has run out.

"Zifa owes me close to $100 000 due to unpaid dues of eight months. My next action is to go to Fifa because it looks like I have exhausted all channels," Gorowa said.

"This makes me sick because you can see how Zifa is making frantic efforts to pay off former coaches Valinhos [Jose Claudinei Georgini] and Tom Saintfiet who they owe as well.

"But me nothing; not even an engagement. And to make it worse, these are brothers who treat their fellow brother this way.

"It's a shame and the fact that I took it to the highest office of sport in the country and nothing has been done."

Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela admitted the association owed Gorowa money in unpaid salaries.

"We acknowledge that we owe him and we are in the process of engaging him for a reasonable payment plan," he told BBC Sport.

"We appeal to all our creditors to be patient as we continue to implement our debt servicing strategy."

Gorowa believes Zimbabwe still has the potential to become a football powerhouse but says Zimbabwean players need to be adequately financially rewarded for their efforts.

"I think poor administration and infighting is costing the nation and budding footballers' successful careers. I feel sorry for the boys.

"For example we finished 4th in the Chan [African Nations Championship] tournament and the boys were promised half of the prize money for their efforts.

"The prize money was $250 000 and I got a letter from the Chief Executive Officer which said they would make part payment and then make full payment by end of September last year . The whole team including the technical bench were given $30,000 and that was it."

Gorowa says he now has no intention of returning to football in Zimbabwe, claiming Zifa is "chaotic and directionless."

"It's really sad and the futures of the players and their careers are at risk if the current situation cannot be resolved."