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Zimbabwe Football Association Preparing Ambitious Budget Request

The Zimbabwe Football Association intends to ask the government for a budget of US$1 billion to prepare for the 2010 World Cup to be held next door in South Africa, including the hiring of a foreign coach to turn around a lagging national team.

That is the equivalent of Z$150 trillion dollars at the parallel market exchange rate.

Web-based news agency ZimOnline reported that the huge budget request is likely to face opposition by government departments that are scrambling to make ends meet and in particular to obtain scarce foreign exchange for their operations.

ZIFA has announced its intention to hire a foreign coach after sacking Charles Mhlauri for failing to get the national team into the 2008 African Nations Cup finals in Ghana.

Sports commentator Brian Goredema told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that ZIFA may have to lower its sights if it hopes for a sympathetic hearing from the government and potential corporate sponsors.

More reports from VOA's Studio7 for Zimbabwe...