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TODAY is the day of the One Wallet Cup final. It is the day when Dynamos play little Triangle for the US$80 000 on offer for the winners.

INSIDE SPORT WITH MICHAEL KARIATI

From the outset, this is just one of those games that Dynamos are expected to steamroll over their modest opponents.

But irrespective of whoever is playing, it is time all of us supported those who support football, and NetOne is one of them. As a sponsor, they have sacrificed a lot during these trying economic times in Zimbabwe and we also need to reciprocate.

Zifa’s Supporters’ Liasson Officer Simioni Jamanda has called for all the supporters to come to the National Sports Stadium in their numbers to rally behind not only their teams, but the sponsors as well.

Jamanda, who from the now defunct Blackpool went to the now defunct Motor Action, was appointed the leader of Zimbabwean football supporters following a directive from Fifa that all football associations should have a supporter who links fans and the national football federations.

But talking of sponsors. We also wonder where most of the sponsors’ money is going to. Our clubs and players are suffering to the extent of some players becoming destitutes at a time we are told big figures are being invested into football.

In the streets and in bars, we are running away from footballers as they beg for transport money to take them back home after having walked all the way into the city or town centres.

What we have been made to understand is that the One Wallet Cup is worth US$500 000. But only US$270 000 is going towards the prize money, which is about half what the sponsors are pouring into the tournament. Where is the remainder of the money going to? We might be forced to ask.

But the One Wallet Cup is just one of many examples.

The Premier Soccer League also takes 6% of gate takings. This means the money they take from the sponsors and the gate fees is all going towards administration. How many employees are at the PSL offices? Not more than six. So then, what administration are we talking about here?

Where is the remainder of the tournaments’ prize money and the 6% gate charge going to when clubs and the players are not receiving it?

In all honesty, today’s cup final should have gone for a dollar for the cheapest seat. Why not, when the clubs and the players themselves are not benefitting from it.

Of Muparati and the Soccer Star award

Take it or not, the real 2013 Castle Soccer Star of the Year was not Tawanda Muparati, but Silas Songani of Harare City.

Not that Muparati was voted for because he plays for Dynamos. But because the selection system is losing its respectability owing to the manner in which it is being handled.

Gone are the days a pre-selection meeting was held to advise the would-be panelists on the rules and regulations that govern the selection system.

It was during those meetings that the panel of selectors was chosen, with everyone who mattered present to make a contribution. Now, the panel is drawn on the strength of who patronises who.

I miss those days when Delta Beverages had the late Tony Kanukayi.

“Order boys, business is about to start”, Kanukayi would say after ringing the bell that hung by a thread in the Sable Room at the then Castle Breweries in Southerton.

Everyone who mattered wanted to be part of the selection system because there was pride in being part of a panel that was selected on merit and not on whom you were close to.

The likes of Blackmore Mavhura, Robson Sharuko, Tendayi Ndemera, Wellington Toni, Merit Munzwembiri, Charles Mabika, Farai Mungazi, Stanley Katsande, Lovemore Dube, Petros Kausiyo, Pathisani Moyo, the late Philip Magwaza, Tichaona Sibanda, and of course yours truly, had pride in the selection. To us, the selection came late and went too early. The place on the panel had to be earned.

I wonder if Delta Beverages still have anyone who is qualified to handle the soccer star awards, for everything appears to be going wrong.

I am told the captains of all the 16 teams have been roped into this year’s selection. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year 16 board members from all the PSL clubs were to be included.

We need seriousness or else, this year, we will have the suspended Guthrie Zhokini being crowned the 2014 Castle Soccer Star of the Year, and Beki Nyoni crowned the Coach of the Year.

We need someone like Kanukayi back at Delta to run the affairs of the Castle Soccer Star of the Year Award selection proccess, or else the situation, will get worse.

I rest my case.
For views and comments email mkariati@gmail.com, or WhatsApp on 077 3 266 779.

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