He said from 2001 to 2003, he was the director of Old Citrus Farm Football Club, a team that played in Division Three. The businessman claims that he has been embedded in football, from the early ‘90s and has been offering financial support to the game, including sponsoring the Chiyangwa Football Tournament from 2000 to 2005 in his home province of Mashonaland West.
“At one time I had a stint at promoting boxing where I ran the largest pool of boxers, this is where I raised the likes of Gilbert ‘Giro’ Josamu, Ambrose Mlilo and the late Proud Chinembiri “Kilimanjaro”, the Man Mountain who became the All Africa heavyweight boxing champion and went on to challenge Lennox Lewis for the World heavyweight championship,” the businessman said.
“During 2007 and 2008, through Pinnacle and ZECO, I became the single major advertiser and partner of ZBH/ZTV to bring live La Liga and the British Barclays Premier Leagues, which brought a major sigh of relief to the sanctions-riddled economy, and brought in sanctions-busting partners who further availed more and varied viewing content for use by the institution.”
Yesterday, Chiyangwa made his move in his audacious bid to become the ZIFA leader when he paid the $50 needed and signed the form declaring himself a candidature for the elections. His next move is to secure the police clearance that is needed for his candidature to be formalised.
While Chiyangwa has been moving quickly to tick the boxes in his bid to succeed Cuthbert Dube as ZIFA boss, CAPS United president, Farai Jere, is today expected to formally advise the community that has been backing him that he will not contest in the elections for the ZIFA presidency.
Jere appeared to be a firm favourite, last week, to win the race but the Green Machine boss feels that he should not plunge into a boardroom battle against people that he considers “my seniors” and has, therefore, decided to step aside.
He believes that, maybe in 2018, he could have gained enough exposure to launch a bid for the ZIFA presidency. A number of names are being thrown into the ring with Premier Soccer League boss, Twine Phiri, emerging as a candidate while some feel the constitution should be reviewed to enable those who are below 40 years to battle for the ZIFA presidency.
Those who are pushing this agenda believe that people like Benjani Mwaruwari and George Manyaya should be given a chance to fight for the ZIFA presidency. “The irony is that the Jordanian Prince who wants to be the FIFA president is only 39 and he is eligible to fight for that post while here in Zimbabwe we say that someone who is below 40 cannot battle for the top post,” said one of the Councillors.
“This means that someone like Benjani, if he has the support, can go and battle for the FIFA presidency and, at the same time, he can’t battle for the ZIFA presidency and that looks a bit awkward. “We also feel that the young guys should be given a chance because we have seen a young Sports Minister making a big difference and that should tell us that it can also work wonders for us in football.”