Ariel boost for Bosso
Even as Zifa plummets into inexorable descent, there are many who would prefer the status quo. They ignore the fact that Zimbabwe’s economy, even at its healthiest, cannot support both Zifa and the PSL. This explains the feuds between the two bodies, especially in the 1990s, which only succeeded in making football less attractive to sponsors.
Think of it this way: Is there a single African country with a large enough economy to sustain the Zimbabwean model? In a word, no. Not even South Africa where Safa feeds on the crumbs falling off the PSL table. There are two main reasons why it works in England: the size of the economy — which enables clubs to be highly commercial — and the billions of dollars from domestic and international broadcast rights.
The terribly flawed thinking was that the PSL in Zimbabwe would replicate the success of its English counterpart. Things have only got worse since. Our football needs radical restructuring. The two-tier system that has left Zifa facing an existential crisis must go. Bring back the Super League!
Mungazi is a Zimbabwean sports journalist working for the BBC in London. HIGHLANDERS have received a major boost in their quest for a league and cup double after news that first choice goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda’s eye injury was not a season ender and the shotstopper is available for selection when they take on How Mine in the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. Sibanda sustained a bloodied right eye after being hit by the ball in Bosso’s 2-1 win over a spirited Ngezi Platinum Stars in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the same venue last Sunday, raising fears that his season could be over. It has also emerged that senior players opposed the club’s medical team, which had recommended that he be substituted soon after his injury, by urging Sibanda “to fight on like a soldier and die on the pitch”. “It was not that the guys had no faith in Njabulo Nyoni, but it seems they felt a forced substitution would have had a negative impact on the team hence their stance that Ariel must hold on, but unfortunately it proved costly as the goal by Ngezi was as a result of Ariel’s partial blindness,” said one of the players. As the doctors were atttending to Sibanda, senior players, among them skipper Erick Mudzingwa and Tendai Ndlovu, could be clearly seen indicating to the bench not to make a substitution. “The guys said ndoda bana lenhliziyo yesilwane (have the heart of a lion) for our supporters’ sake and Ariel heeded the call. You must understand that the mood in the team these days is fight until the very end,” said another player. A relieved Bosso coach Erol Akbay confirmed that the injury was not as bad as initially feared. “It was not such a bad injury, he is doing well and the plan is to use him in our games,” said Akbay. Fans had taken to social media to wish the goalkeeper a speedy recovery with charismatic former Bosso shotstopper Tapuwa Kapini, who is now doing duty for Highlands Park in the South African Absa Premiership, also joining in. “He will be fine, he is a fighter,” posted Kapini on his Facebook timeline.