Ariel boost for Bosso

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

afloat.

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.

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