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‘Zifa Eastern Region board is a circus’

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‘Zifa Eastern Region board is a circus’


Simbarashe Mtembo


MASVINGO – The ZIFA Eastern Region board is a circus filled with clowns hamstrung on survival over improving player livelihoods, players and team managers have said.

They expressed their disappointment over the Davison Muchena led board after it scrapped weekly awards that benefitted 30 players, coaches and a referee for monthly awards that only benefit one player and a coach.

The board highjacked the Rtd Major Special Matarirano awards which saw nine players receive US$20 each Man of The Match award every match day. The last match day of the month was reserved for player, coach and referee of the month who received US$50 each.

Masimba and his board stopped the awards and introduced their Player and Coach of The Month awards.

Mutare City Rovers Kennedy ‘Bokande’ Kachara and Destiny Stars’ David Chirandu are the inaugural coach and player of the month. They each received US$200 prize money.

Players and team managers who spoke to The Mirror said the board should prioritise player welfare.

They said that should the board insists on holding its awards, it should at least seek sponsorship to benefit many players.

“This is a disappointment. While we understand the need to be in charge, they have made us lose confidence in them. More players were benefitting from the weekly awards and the quality of play had improved,” said one team manager.

Another team manager said the board should consider the plight of players and allow able individuals and corporates to support their livelihoods.

Muchena did not pick up his phone when contacted for comment.

His deputy Wisdom Simba said they are open to accommodating anyone who comes through their office.

“The Eastern Region soccer league is registered and affiliated with Zifa so when someone wants to donate or sponsor they have to do collaborate with the office. No one was prevented from holding awards but the manner in which they did the awards without involving the association was wrong. We told them that it was illegal. We are open to partnering anyone who wants to,” he said.

Matarirano said he is open to working with the board should it foster accountability and transparency.

He also said that he has left the awards to the board and is now focusing on donating football kits and balls to schools and clubs. He has donated a kit to Cheninga Primary School in Gutu.

 “After the hijacking of the man of Match, Coach, Player and Referee of the Month awards by Simba – Muchena led board… The candidate would like to honour its promise to all Eastern region football stakeholders…

“Major Special Matarirano who is the leader and aspiring candidate for Zifa Eastern Region in the next plebiscite is happy to announce that he is back as he will be moving around as usual from grassroots to all D1 teams giving football kits, training kits and balls as a gesture of how he expected football to be run when elected into office,” reads part of the statement.

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