Masvingo Council to bankroll United?

MASVINGO - Zifa Eastern Region Division One side Masvingo United, who are on the verge of collapse due to financial challenges are keeping their fingers crossed after the Masvingo mayor, Hubert Fidze revealed his council’s desire to bankroll a team in the topflight league.

Speaking during the Zifa Masvingo Province awards ceremony at the weekend, Fidze said one of the council’s long term plans was is to ensure they have a team in the Premiership bankrolled by the local authority.

Gutu FC, who won promotion into the Eastern Region Division One last year, were presented with Cuthbert Dube-sponsored shield and medals together with the runners-up Huruyadzo FC.

Masvingo football fans have not watched top flight football since 2011 following the relegation of Masvingo United. 

Last year, United merged with Setheo and Don Bosco afterv they were prompted by the need to set up a community team which will strive for a home grown resource base for sponsorship and support but the team however found the going tough before finishing the season at the middle of the table.

“I have played football myself and have passion for the game and it will be good to revive the Masvingo United brand,” Fidze said.

“We are looking at establishing a team in a year or two and we want to make sure we go all the way to the Premier League. This City has got a good catchment area but we lose good players to Harare.

“One of the council’s long term plans is to have a top sponsor a team that will represent the province in the top flight league. We have a lot of talent in the area but we need develop it.

“The development of football in the country should start in these small leagues,” added Fidze.

Meanwhile, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube pledged more supports to grassroots development while applauding the establishment of an independent Sports Ministry.

In a message read on his behalf by Richard Mutasa, representing Buymore Investments, sponsors of the awards, Dube challenged the teams to aim for a premiership berth while confirming his candidature for Zifa presidency in the March elections.

“Those who promoted into Division One should now work towards promotion into the Premiership,” Dube said. 

“Now that the government has come in to fund national teams, we hope it frees the funds to support development. We also hope that Masvingo can have a team in the premier league again after producing some of the best players in past years.

“I will stand in the next elections. I still feel I have a lot to offer to the country’s football,” he said.

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