WHILE Dynamos vice-captain Tawanda Muparati is revelling in his Soccer Star of the Year triumph, Premier Soccer League sponsors, Delta Corporation, have bemoaned lack of appreciation of their sponsorship of the league.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
The corporation’s executive director-marketing, Maxen Karombo expressed displeasure at the official Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year Awards held last Friday night.
“While football is the biggest recipient of our sponsorship funds, sadly it is not the most grateful. An unfortunate sense of entitlement, gross miscalculation of the value of the game and an insatiable thirst for fights, are the main nagging issues that have discouraged Delta Corporation and held back many potential sponsors from the game,” he said.
Karombo however, said Delta Corporation remains hopeful that common ground would be reached as they negotiate for a new deal with the league following the expiry of the current one.
“Despite these setbacks, Delta Beverages leadership is committed to sponsoring football and remains hopeful that we will soon find common ground with the league’s leadership,” he added.
Clubs have been crying for an upward review of the sponsorship deal which is currently at US$600 000 per season.
The league’s chairman Twine Phiri said they would do everything to safeguard the sponsors’ interests.
“We have to protect the images of our sponsors. We will come up with new measures that will protect their brands. One of them will be to curb hooliganism and the league’s officials should also stop commenting negatively about sponsors,” he said.
The league was recently caught in the eye of a storm after former employee Cuthbert Mutandwa compiled a dossier chronicling boardroom squabbles within the secretariat and questionable corporate governance issues.
Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi is being charged by Zifa over remarks he allegedly made against sponsors and Zifa.
In 2011, Delta Beverages, through their Castle Lager brand, unveiled a three-year sponsorship worth US$1,8million.
It included prize money in addition to the various individual prizes like the monthly awards for the best player and goalkeeper as well as end of year awards.
Meanwhile, Soccer Star of the Year Muparati said he was grateful of winning the award and said he owed it to teammates, coach Kalisto Pasuwa and teammates.
“I was hopeful and prayed for this to happen. Both runners up were capable of winning the award.
“I just want to thank my family, supporters, teammates and coach Pasuwa.
Top goal-scorer Tendai Ndoro formerly of Chicken Inn said he could have landed the award had he not spent some time in South Africa on trial with new club Mpumalanga Black Aces.
“Tawanda played very well, but had I played all the games, I would have won the award,” he said.
Coach of the Year Bigboy Mawiwi of Harare City attributed his success to discipline at the club.
Castle Soccer Star of the Year: Tawanda Muparati (Dynamos) — US$5 000
First Runner-up: Silas Songani (Harare City) — US$3 000
Second Runner-up: Kudakwashe Mahachi (Chicken Inn) — US$2 000
Coach of the Year: Bigboy Mawiwi (Harare City) — US$2 000
Goalkeeper of the Year: Herbert Rusawo (Black Rhinos) — US$2 000
Golden Boot: Tendai Ndoro (Chicken Inn) — US$3 000
Most Promising Player: Ronald Pfumbidzai (Caps United) — US$2 000
Referee of the Year: Nomore Musundire — US$2 000
First Runner-up: Tiwone Kacheche — US$1 500
Second Runner-up: Thomas Kusosa — US$1 000
Most Disciplined Team: Harare City — US$10 000
The 11 finalists: George Chigova, Tawanda Muparati, Gift Bello (all Dynamos), Silas Songani (Harare City), Charles Sibanda (FC Platinum), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Kuda Mahachi, Tendai Ndoro (both Chicken Inn), Menard Mupera (How Mine), Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders).