Women's football: What happened to Marange deal?

HARARE - A veil of secrecy continues to shroud the withdrawal Marange Resources from women’s football, raising question marks over the handling of the sponsorship package by the game’s leadership. 

The diamond mining company in 2012 launched a five-year $3 million deal for women’s football, but Marange have pulled the plug on the sponsorship in unclear circumstances.

The biggest ever sponsorship in the history of Zimbabwean football, the package unveiled by Marange in 2012 would have gone towards bankrolling the women’s national league and national team activities over five years. 

The official launch was attended by patron of the Mighty Warriors, President Robert Mugabe, and then Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obed Mpofu.

Dube described the sponsorship package as “significant.”

But two years on, Zimbabwe women’s football finds itself in the doldrums.

Things went horribly wrong with the deal, and following allegations of financial mismanagement in the game, Marange pulled plugs on sponsorship.

League action only took place 2012, but no prizes money was ever distributed to the teams at the end of the season.

There were no matches at all played last year, drawing the ire of stakeholders in the women’s game, who are now baying for the blood of their leadership.

The national women’s team, the Mighty Warriors, have however continued to travel outside the country for international matches despite the absence of a league to draw the players from.

Sources within the team say players hardly receive any form of payment for all their travels, despite spending weeks, if not month, in camp.  

On a recent trip to Egypt, players were reportedly paid $5 for the whole tour.

Despite the state of affairs, neither party willing to discuss why the deal crumbled and where the money went to.

“I’m not doing football matters right now, I’m busy with other pressing issues,” ZWSL boss Mavis Gumbo told the Daily News, before referring this paper to Marange Resources.

Marange were not forthcoming with details of why they pulled out of the sponsorship deal with an official saying the board with the jurisdiction to comment has been dissolved by new Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa.

Comments (1)

pane nyaya apa! how come the women soccer boss is everywhere where the national team goes, iadmin yerudzii iyoyo. l smell a fish here

mafirakureva - 28 February 2014

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