Sports Shorts – 23 March 2006

Top ref dies
Wonder Kalota (45), one of Zimbabwe’s top soccer referees died at his home here at the weekend

after a short illness. He was buried at the Granville Cemetery.
“It is a sad loss. He was the last born in a family of six and was the surviving child and a breadwinner to the children left by his brothers and sisters,” said a family spokesperson.
“We are shocked by the sudden death of one of our members soon after the death of another referee, Sam Chirape (who died in Bulawayo last month),” said the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Referees Association, Gladmore Muzambi.
“He was one of our top referees and was on the FIFA panel. Two weeks ago he was on assignment in Madagascar but you could see that he was not feeling well.
Kalota started refereeing in 1984 in the Mbare Area Zone.At the time of his death, he was on the FIFA panel and handled a number of international matches outside Zimbabwe. He is survived by his wife Lillian and seven children.

Makonese to play in England?
HARARE – Warriors player Zvenyika Makonese gave an impressive performance at the Nations Cup finals in Egypt recently, which could pave the way for him to play in the English Premiership next season.

English clubs Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa are said to be vying to sign the former Shabanie Mine defender.
If all goes according to plan, Makonese could leave for trials at the end of June, just before the start of the English Premiership pre-season period,” said a local sports commentator last week.

His current South African Premier Soccer League team, Santos, is already coming to terms with the reality that they might not have their trusted centreback next season.
Santos coach Roger de Sar, who watched Makonese in Egypt, conceded that the European scouts were impressed with his performance and was planning for life without his trusted defensive man.”

Dinha heads for Qatar

HARARE – Zimbabwe Warriors’ utility player Edelbert Dinha is to move shortly from the South African Premier Soccer League club Orlando Pirates to the United Arab Emirates.
Dhina’s contract with Pirates, where he has been reduced to a bench warmer since the arrival of Nigerian Onyekachi Okonkwo, expires at the end of the current season.
Sources said the 33-year-old now wants out of Pirates and might make a lucrative move to Qatar, a transfer that was orchestrated at the last Nations Cup in Egypt where he played in all the Warriors’ group matches.
“Contracts have been tabled for Dhina to take but he is still considering other options before making such a move. As you are aware, he is moving away from Pirates to where he will be playing regularly. The offer from the Middle East is good,” said the source.

Rugby Sevens off to Europe

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Sevens rugby national team will take part in two European tournaments and is scheduled to train in the UK for the next three months, according to team manager, Bruce Hopson.
He said the Cheetahs were invited to take part for the third time in the Amsterdam Sevens tournament scheduled for May. After that they will play at the Beridom Sevens tournament.
In last year’s tournament, the Cheetahs won six of their seven games.
Meanwhile, the Matabeleland 2006 rugby season is expected to start next week with the provincial side touring South Africa.

And the Zimbabwe Rugby Union president, Bryn Williams, has announced that Matabeleland will host a schools festival during Easter.

US anthem played ‘by mistake’

GABORONE – The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has apologised to Zimbabwe for playing the American instead of the Zimbabwean national anthem at the recent AAC Southern Region Cross-Country Championships.

The choice of the American anthem was particularly embarrassing as Zimbabwe is currently locked in a diplomatic stand-off with the United States which accuses President Robert Mugabe’s government of closing democratic space.

“It was a mistake which we deeply regret,” said BAA spokesman Bobby Gaseitsiwe. “We sincerely apologise to Zimbabwe.”

Match stopped as fans protest

BULAWAYO – The friendly match between Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields stadium last weekend was stopped for 17 minutes after some fans from the Mpilo End started throwing missiles onto the field in protest at a decision from the ref.
In the 90th minute, referee Hopewell Sidube awarded Highlanders a free kick after Dazzy Kapenya had brought down Ralph Matema.
This did not go down well with Dynamos fans and they started throwing missiles onto the field, preventing Highlanders from taking the free kick.
The referee then stopped the match as police and officials tried to cool down tempers. The Dynamos stand was cleared, but teargas canisters were later thrown at fans outside.
After the stoppage, Sidube blew to end the match, which Highlanders won 3-1 to take home the Z$400 million cheque.

HARARE – Highlanders dismissed Dynamos 3-1 in the Innscor $400 million winner take-all friendly match played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Honour Gombami and Joel Luphahla, just returned from South Africa, played a vital part in the defeat. Gombami sealed the rout 10 minutes from time, while Luphahla, still waiting to hear if SuperSport United will clear him to play for the Bulawayo side until June, created all the goals.

Some 18,000 people watched the match, making it the best attended friendly game in years.

Highlanders had former AmaZulu midfielder Farai Mujokoro in the team while former Hwange player Thabani Maphosa sat on the bench.

Dynamos featured former Highlanders and Warriors defender Dazzy Kapenya, Ronald Sibanda from AmaZulu, goalkeeper Brian Ndlovu from Njube Sundowns, Lovemore Mapuya from Motor Action and Mtewa Masiku from Railstars.

Mtewa’s brother Gideon, was on the bench with Rueben Mhlanga, former Highlanders player Zivanai Vandire, goalkeeper Lewis Manjoro, Afia Makwinja and Gift Zvavanhu.

Matola shines for Silver Stars
JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe international and former Buymore steady defender, James “Van Damme” Matola featured in the Silver Stars’ starting line-up colours when they beat Black Leopards 2-1 in an entertaining premiership encounter her at the weekend.
Matola, who impressed many soccer fans, football administrators and coaches with his acrobatic dives when clearing airborne balls, also shattered Black Leopards’ equalising hopes when he cleared two clear balls from line.

It was a sweet start for Matola, who emerged victorious in his first match in the African premier soccer leagues. The tough tackling defender was playing alongside countryman, Bekhithemba Ndlovu in defence.

After the match, several Zimbabweans living in South Africa came over to congratulate Matola in appreciation of a job well done. – CAJ News.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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