Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Bulawayo
THE sponsor-less Zimbabwe Netball Association have resumed their embarrassing fight with the heavily-funded Rainbow Amateur Netball League by writing threatening letters to principals of teams who are participating in the league.
ZINA are even prepared to sabotage the country’s maiden World Cup appearance this year to settle their differences with the league.
RANL enjoy a $250 000 sponsorship from Glow Petroleum, while ZINA — whose leadership have failed to even get an office despite that being a requirement in terms of good corporate governance tenets — have no corporate backing.
Last year, RANL, in its inaugural year, enjoyed a successful season that culminated in end-of-year awards at a top hotel in Harare where various prizes, as much as $20 000, were given to deserving teams.
Despite the Sports Commission writing to both parties to find common ground for the good of the game and the girl child, ZINA have persistently refused to play ball.
This week, their secretary-general Babra Rice, dispatched letters to various principals of RANL clubs threatening players who take part in RANL-organised leagues and saying they won’t be eligible for selection into the national team.
Zimbabwe qualified for their maiden Netball World Cup finals set for Liverpool, England, in four months time.
“The Zimbabwe Netball Association once again writes to advise and appeal to you that the Rainbow Amateur Netball League is unsanctioned and unregistered by ZINA, Sports and Recreation Commission and Ministry of Sports,” reads one of the letters written by Rice to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
”ZINA, therefore, requests you not to participate in any activities initiated by this league.
“Players from this league are not eligible to participate in any national team duties. ZINA is extending its invitation to your club for the 2019 league and activities.
”Please be advised that it’s in the interest of the sport to comply,” wrote Rice. However, some players who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said they will not allow emotional blackmail and the impending Liverpool trip to blur them from the bigger picture.
“England is not heaven, if they think we will be enticed by a mere ticket to another part of the world then they are mistaken, for long we have been part of ZINA yet getting nothing out of our sweat,” one player said.
”And now that we are, at least, getting a few cents someone wants to throw spanners, that will and shall never happen.” Others appealed to the Sports Commission director general Prince Mupazviriho to help brjng sanity to the impasse.