Saturday, 8 November 2014

Magaya Says Zim Football Can Bounce Back: Zimbabwe: 'We Can Rise Again' . . .

By Takudzwa Chitsiga
YADAH TV poured US$30 000 into an eight-team Northern Region Division One tournament yesterday with its executive chairman, Prophet Walter Magaya, saying Zimbabwe can bounce back as a powerful football nation good enough to qualify for the Nations Cup finals.

The Warriors have been on a free-fall, after scaling dizzy heights in 2004 and 2006, when Sunday Chidzambwa and Charles Mhlauri guided them to the Nations Cup finals in Tunisia and Egypt, and crashed out of the race for a place at the 2015 Afcon finals in Morocco in the preliminary round qualifiers.

The Young Warriors have also lost their way, in recent years, and haven't won the regional title for some time now while they haven't been playing in the African Youth Championships after failing to fulfil the second legs of their qualifiers against Congo (Brazzaville) and Angola two years ago.

The Mighty Warriors also failed to qualify for the African Women Championships after a surprise defeat, in the final qualifying round, to Zambia.
Magaya Says Zim Football Can Bounce Back: Zimbabwe: 'We Can Rise Again' . . .
Zimbabwe's representatives in the Caf inter-club tournaments, the Champions League and the Confederation Cup have also struggled to make an impact in recent years after Dynamos dared the nation to dream of celebrating a local triumph, at this level of the game, when they reached the final of the Champions League in 1998.

Magaya, who is the leader of Prophetic Healing Deliverance Ministries, which is the parent company that owns Yadah TV, is an avid football fan who this year took over as the financier of former Zimbabwe champions, Gunners, who are now leading the World Navi Northern Region Division One championship race.

Yesterday, Yadah TV unveiled a sponsorship deal with the Northern Region Division One league for an eight-team knock-out tournament, which gets underway this weekend, with US$30 000, a landmark package for Division One football, being poured into the competition.

Magaya, in his keynote address at the launch ceremony that was graced by guest of honour, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, a former football administrator who had stints at CAPS United and Shooting Stars, and Zimbabwe Women Football chief Miriam Sibanda, said the national game had the capacity to rise again.

The Yadah TV boss said Zimbabwe football was being weighed down by beliefs in juju and, if the national game embraces God, the country was blessed with so much potential, in terms of the playing resources, it would be easy to assemble national teams that will do very well on the international scene.

"We have a lot of football talent in this country but what we need is belief, we need to do away with our old beliefs that juju will take us anywhere and we embrace the Lord, and we can go very far as a nation if we do that," Magaya said.

"Yadah Gunners are leading the Division One championship and, with all due respect to our coaches, a lot of it is a result of anointing."

Zimbabwe's most successful skipper of all-time, Peter Ndlovu, recently said that he would have taken the Warriors to the World Cup finals had he known God earlier in his life.

Ndlovu was part of the Dream Team which came within 90 minutes of qualifying for the '94 World Cup finals before losing 1-3 to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the final match in Yaounde.

Magaya said Yadah TV was happy to partner the Northern Region Division One League because most of the companies in this country were only interested in sponsoring the domestic Premiership.

"I feel greatly humbled to be associating with the Northern Region Soccer League, which to us is the epitome of the future of football in this country," said Magaya.

"As a television company we have deemed it fit to sponsor this worthy cause, taking into account that most corporates are keen to sponsor the top-flight league at the expense of these lower leagues.

"But it has dawned on us that it is these lower leagues where the future of the football fraternity is being nurtured. Yadah TV have found this to be a very little way of contributing to the uplifting of Zimbabwean soccer.

"As Christians we really value the spiritual well-being of people and at the same time we fully appreciate the importance of the physical well-being of people as well. Sport is one thing that brings nations, tribes and ethnicities together.

"In its own right, it is a way of worshipping, it is a way of appreciating one another as human beings.

"Sport embraces every aspect of humanity."

Magaya said Yadah TV was also spreading the gospel through their sponsorship of the eight-team tournament.

"There are many ways of spreading the gospel and we verily hope and trust that at the end of the tournament many people would have been touched by our gospel and surrender their lives to Jesus," said Magaya.

"We have donated to charity and other worthy causes but we believe that more can still be done in terms of corporate citizenry.

"That is why we have spread our tentacles to soccer.

"We are of the firm belief that this relationship will not end here.

"Allow me to express our commitment as Yadah TV to continue working with the various communities in Zimbabwe in our bid to improve the lives and well-being of our people, including football."

The total prize money of the tournament is US$30 000 and winners will walk away with US$8 000 and other cash prizes will be given to all the participating teams.

Gunners will battle it out with Starbill, Black Mambas will face Flame Lily, Bindura United take on Ngezi Platinum and Mushowani Stars play Lake Harvest.

Zifa Northern Region chairman Willard Manyengavana said he was happy to bring on board another sponsor and a tournament for his teams.

"The tournament comes after we sealed yet other sponsorship deals with World Navi Japan and Supreme Panel Beaters," said Manyengavana, who is now the most successful chairman to lead the league.

"The new development will without doubt help us rejuvenate our teams and enable our players to gain more game time at the same time improving on their skills and competitiveness.

"The coming on board of Yadah TV is a welcome development, especially taking into account that sponsorship is hard to come by. We highly value sponsorship as it helps us take soccer from one level to another."

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