THE Football Association of Zambia has appealed to the Zambia Revenue Authority through the Ministry of Sports to immediately unblock its garnished accounts at Atlas Mara Bank.
Last week, ZRA directed Atlas Mara to block all FAZ accounts where FIFA forward funds amounting US$215,460 and K73,463.41 are held.
The action by ZRA relates to a historic K6,173,256.69 that FAZ owes tax authorities dating back to 2013.
In a letter to the ministry seen by The Mast, FAZ head of administration Colonel Andrew Siame contended that FIFA forward funds cannot be used to pay tax arrears because they are meant to assist FAZ manage its operations, adding that the action to garnish the accounts is intended to paralyse FAZ operations.
FAZ has further warned that the action taken by ZRA may constitute ‘government interference’ as the blocked funds are from the world football governing body which have to be accounted for in accordance with FIFA regulations.
In its commitment, FAZ is pledging to start dismantling the tax arrears with the payments of K150,000 from gate-takings starting with the funds from the Africa Cup qualifying home game to be played on November 20.
“On 21st October, we proposed to pay K150,000 from our gate-takings for the game to be played on 20th November 2019. Attached hereto find the reply from ZRA. We further wish to inform the ministry that Zambia will play six home games, three Africa Cup qualifiers and three World Cup qualifiers this year and early next year. We therefore propose that from our gate-takings, starting from 20th November 2019 we start paying an amount of K150,000 towards our liabilities. We pledge to continue paying the same amount from the gate-takings received from subsequent games played,” read Siame’s letter in part.
“We are therefore requesting the Ministry of Youth and Sports to have the matter reversed as this will paralyse FAZ operations. We also wish to inform the ministry that FAZ will use gate-takings funds to clear the stadium arrears and amount of K100,000 will be paid from each home game played. We further wish to inform the ministry that FAZ has agreed to the proposal of adding K5.00 to each ticket sold on the home games to pay stadium management as maintenance funds. We urgently seek your immediate intervention on the ZRA matter.”