The process towards settling the debt owed to Belgian Tom Saintfiet, which is threatening Zimbabwe’s participation in the Fifa 2022 World Cup, made a slow start since payment could not be made yesterday, after the invoices could not be delivered before the bank’s cut off time.
When the invoice was delivered to Zifa sponsor Wicknell Chivayo, he failed to transfer the funds since he had been provided with a Swiss Francs bank account.
A United States dollar account was later provided and he instructed his bank to make the transfer yesterday afternoon.
There was communication between Chivayo and Saintfiet’s lawyers.
Wicknell acknowledged in his email to Wouter Lambrecht, Saintfiet’s representative that he had taken over the debt and was committed to settling it as per promise.
“I want to do this payment as soon as possible, as I have already committed publicly to settle this debt,” wrote Wicknell. “Thank you for your patience and be rest assured I will clear this debt as committed to Mr Chiyangwa (Phillip), Zifa and the nation as a whole without fail. Feel free to contact me by telephone on any of the numbers below should you require anything as the debt is now mine and you will receive payments timeously.”
Wouter replied that he was looking forward to seeing the matter put to rest.
“I understand that there is indeed some confusion and hereby provide you once again with the invoice, which now contains a USD dollar account in which you can transfer the money,” he wrote. “Rest assured that once we have received the payment, we will confirm this to you. We are also looking forward to receive the further payments of USD 50.000 and USD 85.000 by 31 January 2016 and 31 March 2016 respectively.”
Zimbabwe failed to participate in the 2018 qualifiers, owing to a debt to Valinhos which has since been settled.
Wicknell has promised to pump in $1 million into Zifa during Chiyangwa’s tenure.