Sport 25-01-2007

Cricketers vow to oppose officials
HARARE - Cricket could be plunged into chaos following revelations that some Zimbabwe Cricket structures plan to defy the recently re-elected leader Peter Chingoka.
Chingoka and his colleagues faced allegations of racism from the Interna

tional Cricket Council three years ago after a bitter row with white players but have remained in their posts.
Senior white players led by former captain Heath Streak packed their bags, leaving young Tatenda Taibu to lead a group of inexperienced players to massive defeats. Taibu was to follow two years later, also citing leadership problems.
The Zimbabwean has spoken to sources within provincial structures who revealed a plan to “make cricket ungovernable for Chingoka”.
“We were shocked once again. But it is the same story of rigging and manipulation of the structures that enabled Chingoka to bounce back,” said a veteran cricket administrator, on condition of anonymity.
A leader of one of the provinces added, “It has become an embarrassment that we seem to imply a serious lack of capable people in this country. The irony of it is we have just suffered another embarrassment in losing to Bangladesh, and the young players, who they thought would be used to cover up for their madness, are also frustrated.
“We are mobilising for serious measures that must make Chingoka realise he is no longer wanted. Cricket belongs to the grassroots and so we shall make it ungovernable, for Chingoka to go.”
Efforts to obtain comment from Chingoka and Ozias Bvute were unsuccessful.

Foreign levy on athletes mooted
HARARE Hard-pressed Zimbabwean athletes making a beeline to South Africa to compete in lucrative events across the border will have to think again, as the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe are proposing to introduce a clearance levy of $500 000 per race.
NAAZ already collects 10% of the athletes’ foreign prize money.
The latest proposal is seen as a move to stem the tide of athletes leaving the country for greener pastures.
Samukeliso Moyo, a regular runner on the South African circuit and a representative of the Athletes Commission, described the levy as ‘robbing a living from the suffering athletes’.
The levy was supposed to be adopted at the NAAZ Annual General Meeting held in Gweru last December, but was turned down by the Athletes Commission, who threatened to withdraw from national duty.
The athletes said they would not be taking part in the All Africa Games in July if an exorbitant levy was introduced.
Moyo said, “We have no other jobs besides running. We earn our living from running and NAAZ want to take that away from us. How many athletes can afford to fork out $350 000 each time they are going out of the country to compete in the races? We are against this levy.
“Besides, it is the norm that they (NAAZ) collect 10% of our prize money. It’s unfair and we need to consult,” Moyo fumed.
“We hardly have a race in Zimbabwe that has prize money of $500 000, and proposing a levy of $350 000 for one to compete outside the country is very unfair. Most of the athletes are going to South Africa because there are no paying races in Zimbabwe. We are going outside the country to earn a living. Running is all that we know,” Moyo said.
David Leboho, the NAAZ treasurer, said they were going ahead with the levy but would hold further negotiations with the Athletes Commission on the ‘figures’.
Leboho said, “There is an influx of Zimbabwe athletes in South Africa. They are a thorn in the flesh for the South Africans because they are dominating most of the races like the Comrades Marathon, City to City and Two Oceans. The South Africans are not happy but there is nothing they can do. Currently there is no law in place prohibiting foreigners competing in their races”.
Some of the athletes who have made South Africa their second home are Kudakwashe Kanduna, Thabita Tsatsa, Rutendo Nyahoza, Moyo, Marko Mambo, Oliver Kandiero, Cuthbert Nyasango, Tsungai Mwenengeni, Elijah Mutandiro and Elmore Sibanda. – CAJ News.

Dube bout marks new era
BULAWAYO – National heavyweight boxing champion Tamsanqa Dube is set to benefit from sporting relations recently established between Zimbabwe and South Africa when he takes part in an eight-rounder against a boxer from the Leonard Neil stable, it emerged yesterday.
The bout, Dube’s first assignment across the Limpopo, was brokered by South African promoter Paul Tshehla following consultations with the Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board and the boxer’s new management company, Fly High Boxing Promotions.
Tshehla revealed from Johannesburg this week that the Dube encounter will be one of several supporting bouts put together for the World Boxing Association welterweight title fight between Ishmael Kuchocha (Zimbabwe) and defending champion Welcome Ntshingila of South Africa.
Although the venue of the event was yet to be confirmed, Tshehla said, “This, I’m hopeful, will mark the beginning of a renewed long and convenient relationship between Harare and ourselves, as we last had such boxing relations way back in the early ’80s. February 7 will certainly herald the beginning of big things to come in as far as the sport is concerned”.
The SA promoter said he would also take another Zimbabwean champion, Wellington Phiri, to Namibia in early March for an international friendly match versus Jason Naule at Oranjemund. The package will comprise a total of eight fights (seven of them featuring South Africans) with the main draw-card being the WBA title fight between Tshehla’s son, Anthony, and Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses. – CAJ News.

Nyangela joins as coach
MASVINGO – Former Zimbabwe Warriors international and Black Rhinos sharp shooting striker, Maronga Nyangela, has joined premiership Cup Kings Masvingo United as assistant coach.
Nyangela joins Asipo Haapo, as Masvingo United are affectionately called, to enhance the legacy set by former head coach Luke ‘Vahombe’ Masomere and to revive hopes of winning the premiership title for 2007.
Nyangela, will be the assistant head coach to former Dynamos right winger, Taurai Mangwiro, who took over from Masomere, now coaching in Botswana. – CAJ News.

Henry’s late strike stuns
ENGLAND – Thierry Henry’s stoppage-time header snatched a 2-1 home win for Arsenal over table-topping Manchester United – and kept alive Chelsea’s dream of a third successive English Premiership title.
But stuttering Chelsea, six points behind in second place amid reports of internal unrest, slipped up again by losing 2-0 at Liverpool to early goals by Dirk Kuyt and Jermaine Pennant. For goalkeeper Petr Cech, wearing a protective headguard three months after fracturing his skull, it was an unhappy return.
Fifth-placed Bolton, harbouring hopes of European football next season, crashed 5-1 at Middlesbrough, local boy Stewart Downing setting up the first three goals before cracking in the fourth himself. El Hadji Diouf, Bolton’s Senegal frontman, was sent off for aiming a verbal volley at the referee.
Reading’s romantic run in their first Premiership season continued with a 3-1 home win over Sheffield United. But the match was marred by United’s Keith Gillespie being red-carded just 20 seconds after stepping off the bench and a mass touchline brawl that saw his manager Neil Warnock banished from the dugout.
□ Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink hit a hat-trick in Celtic’s 5-1 home demolition of St Mirren in the Scottish Premier. Celtic led the table by 17 points from Rangers who won 1-0 at Dunfermline.
□Manchester United host Portsmouth this Saturday in round 4 of the FA Cup. On Sunday, Arsenal and Chelsea are both at home, against Bolton and Nottingham Forest respectively.

World Cup warm-up
HARARE – Bangladesh are expected in Harare on February 1 for four one-day Internationals to be played between February 4 and 10, in a series that both teams will be using to finalise their 15-man squad for the World Cup.
Zimbabwe, who are still smarting from the 5-0 series humiliation suffered at the hands of the same opponents early last month, will be fighting to regain their pride.
It was the Tigers’ first-ever series whitewash and now Zimbabwean coach Kevin Curran and his charges will be out to turn the tables and gain confidence ahead of the World Cup. – Sports Reporter

Juniors placed third
WINDHOEK – Zimbabwe put up a spirited performance to finish third at the Southern Africa Junior Championships held in Windhoek last week.
Although not rated as favourites, the regional qualifying tournament saw seven Zimbabwean players qualifying for the Africa Junior championships to be held in Botswana in April.
South Africa finished on top, with Madagascar in second position.
The players who qualified were Mbonisi Ndimande, teamed up with Admire Mushonga, to beat South Africans Jason Black-Milner and Grant Ive 6-4, 6-2 in the doubles finals.
In the girls’ under-14 category, the Zimbabwe doubles team of Amanda Nkomba and Valeria Bhunu also made it to the next stage of the continental showcase.
Benjamin Locke, who was playing in the under-14 category, finished a credible fourth. – Sports Reporter

Hopes for turnaround
BULAWAYO – Highlanders hope to end a run of three attempts without going past first round of the African Champions League since the turn of the century, when they face Pamplemousse FC of Mauritius on January 28.
Highlanders should be boosted by the return of strikers Ralph Matema and Zenzo Moyo, who were nursing injuries.
Highlanders coach Methembe Ndlovu said he was going to field a strong team which will upset the Mauritians. – Sports Reporter

Genius wants victory
HARARE – Tennis star Genius Chidzikwe next week leaves for Burundi to take part in the Confederation of Africa Tennis Tournament, which starts on February 5.
Chidzikwe, who is expected to lead Zimbabwe’s onslaught during the Davis Cup in May, said he was looking at nothing short of victory at the US$5 000 tournament, and would use it to prepare for the Davis Cup.
Zimbabwe was relegated to group four after a disappointing 4-1 defeat by Greece in July last year. – Sports Reporter

Shoko suspended
HARARE – Gaths Mine middle and long-distance runner Kudakwashe Shoko and coach Percy Ngwenya have been suspended from taking part in any National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe events.
The decision to ban them was taken at the NAAZ meeting in Redcliff last week.
Shoko was suspended for two-weeks after failing to fulfil a fixture – the Sao Silvestre New Year’s Eve Marathon in Luanda, Angola on December 31. – Sports Reporter

Mutizirwa honoured
HARARE – Dynamos’ Sebastian Mutizirwa was last week named the club’s 2006 Player of the Year.
The 27-year-old striker ended the season with 17 league goals – and only a four-goal salvo by Highlanders’ striker Ralph Matema, in the very last game of the season, denied him the Golden Boot award.
He received $200 000 and also collected $150 000 for scoring 17 goals for the club.
There was also a reward for Edward Sadomba – a wing dynamo who played very well – when he was named the Most Disciplined Player and received $100 000.
Defender Tafadzwa Takawira was named the Most Improved Player and got $100000. Veteran midfielder Desmond Maringwa won the accolade for the Most Loyal Player and walked away with $100 000. – Sports Reporter

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