FUZ, Zororo deal a potential game-changer

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter

THE Footballers Union of Zimbabwe’s partnership with Zororo Phumulani Funeral Plan could be a game-changer for domestic football.

The two parties solemnised their marriage yesterday when the company unveiled a monthly sponsorship of R10 000 for the FUZ Player of the Month awards.

FUZ are also now set to have their annual players’ awards in the near future.

The partnership will see the new sponsors, who are powered by Doves Zimbabwe, pay the Player of the Month R5 000 for the men’s category and a similar amount for the women’s award.

FUZ introduced the awards in April.

They have been funding the two awards to the tune of US$100 apiece from their coffers.

But, yesterday, FUZ president Desmond Maringwa and his team unveiled a corporate partner who has boosted the prize money about three fold.

Highlanders and Warriors forward Prince Dube and Black Rhinos Queens and Mighty Warriors midfielder Felistas Muzongondi became the first recipients of the prize money.

They were voted winners of the September awards.

At a brief ceremony at the ZIFA Village, Doves Funeral Services general manager, Nyasha Matsika, said they were looking forward to a long-term relationship with the players’ body.

“We are very much happy to be associated with you and I would also want to assure you that Doves, since 1902, has been there,’’ he said.

“We can say it is the tried-and-tested brand and would be with you until the end of time.

“On behalf of Zororo Phumulani, powered by Doves Zimbabwe, we would like to applaud Footballers Union of Zimbabwe for coming up with this initiative to encourage our talent by rewarding the most talented player every month.

“We are proud to be part of it.

“Honour brings dignity and for those who know Doves and Zororo Phumulani, we are not only about dignifying the sending-off and celebrating the departed heroes, but we celebrate life and also place emphasis in honouring the living.’’

Maringwa said he hopes the partnership will last for a long time.

“Awards are a mirror of excellence and our vision is to have annual awards. We have been giving a prize money of US$100, but it was taxing in this economic environment,’’ he said.

“As a union, we are always trying to do things professionally and bringing something new on the table every time.

“We started the talks early March and here we are, we have something on the table and, so, I am excited,” said Maringwa.

Prince Dube, who also scooped the PSL Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Player of the Month for September, yesterday praised both the Highlanders and national team coaches.

“I would like to say thank you to my coaches, both from national team and club, for giving me the opportunity to play,’’ he said.

“Winning this award is not all about me, but my teammates, they are the ones who are helping me score goals both at the club and the national team.

“I have found my scoring touch and I wish to continue working hard and bury any chance that comes my way.’’ Dube carries the nation’s hope in the decisive 2020 CHAN qualifier against Lesotho this Sunday.

Manica Diamonds gaffer, Johannes Nhumwa, won the Coach of the Month award for September.

ZIFA technical director, Wilson Mutekede, commended Doves for coming on board through their South African Zororo Phumulani Funeral Plan.

“We appreciate the efforts of our partners in football. Thank you Doves for coming through in such trying times and we are glad that football is being recognised,’’ he said.

“Such partners coming through means we can sustain a decent league and make it attractive.’’

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