Category Archives: Sport

Muroiwa boosts DeMbare

Premier Soccer League giants Dynamos have received a timely boost after stocky defender Elisha Muroiwa and forward Wisdom Mutasa returned home from Tanzania on Monday in time for the potentially explosive season opener against FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Elisha Muroiwa

Elisha Muroiwa

The pair signed contracts with Singida United, who will be joining the Tanzanian top-flight league from August this year. The club has already snapped up Chicken Inn and Warriors midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

Muroiwa, a key member of the Warriors and part of the squad that participated at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals, said he was happy to have finally sealed a deal with a foreign club.

He said he was looking to a good outing with the club when he links up with his teammates in June.

“It is the dream of every player to play abroad and I am happy that this has come true. I just went there to sign a contract. I didn’t go for trials; this is why I am back. I returned yesterday (Monday) and will be going back in June. My focus now is on our match against FC Platinum,” Muroiwa said.

Dynamos have been rebuilding a new team around experienced players like Muroiwa following the departure of several key players.

However, that rebuilding exercise has suffered a blow because of the imminent departures of Muroiwa and Mutasa.

The former champions, who had a disappointing campaign last term in which they finished in fifth place, have a tough opening fixture against FC Platinum at home on Sunday.

After that, they make the trip to Triangle for another tricky encounter. They host Premiership returnees Black Rhinos in week three before embarking on another long trip to the Colliery to face Hwange.

Then there is the Harare derby set for week seven when Dynamos host Caps United and after that the Glamour Boys travel to Bulawayo for another high-profile clash with Highlanders.

Dynamos failed to beat Caps United last year after losing the first match before the two played out an exciting three-all draw as the Green Machine charged towards the finishing line.

However, it is the Dynamos/FC Platinum match that has drawn so much interest as it pits two coaches, Lloyd Mutasa and Norman Mapeza, who are desperate to win the title for their respective clubs.

Mapeza managed the runners-up spot in a very close contest with eventual champions Caps United and third-placed Highlanders last season while Mutasa could only achieve a fifth place finish.

This time around both coaches will be looking to make amends.

With Lloyd Mutasa hard-pressed for a good start, the return of his son Wisdom and Muroiwa came as a major boost ahead of the high-profile clash on Sunday.

Mutasa content with team perfomance

DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Mutasa, whose team played two friendly matches at Sakubva stadium in Mutare yesterday, is satisfied with the level of his teams’ preparedness ahead of the start of the 2017 Castle Lager Premiership season.

DeMbare reserve side beat Eastern Region Division One side Mutare City Rovers 2-0 before the main team outplayed ambitious fellow Division One Africa Trust side 3-1.

Pencil slim midfielder Denver Mukamba’s sixth minute volley and Emmanuel Mandiranga’s brace in the 27th minute and 33rd minute was all that DeMbare needed to assert their dominance over Africa Trust in that exciting friendly encounter.

However, Mutasa feels the bunch of youngsters he is now leading after recently offloading some senior players have what it takes to make a huge impact this season.

“I am happy with the performance of my players though I am a bit worried about the second half of the match we played against Africa Trust. We did well in the first half but somehow fizzled out in the second half.

“To us as a technical department this was an eye opener. Overally I am happy with our preparation and the performance of these youngsters. I think we can achieve our goals this season. The youngsters have showed determination and that is all we need for now,” said Mutasa.

The soft spoken Dynamos gaffer defended the decision to have youngsters in his team ahead of some seasoned players that include Sydney Linyama and Steven Alimenda whom they recently offloaded.

“The idea to have youngsters in the team was meant to change the way of doing things and instill discipline. It is working out well as we now have unity of purpose and a conducive working environment. I hope this will soon translate into positive results on the field of play when the season starts,” said Mutasa.

Will PSL new boys stand the heat?

Hebert Dick

Hebert Dick

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions Caps United are among the title favourites ahead of the start of this season’s opener on Saturday.

But will the newly promoted teams withstand the topflight heat or they are just there to make up the numbers for one season before returning to the lower leagues?

Three of the four promoted teams, Shabanie Mine, Bantu Rovers and Black Rhinos have previously had stints in the PSL, while Yadah Gunners are marking their maiden season in the country’s topflight league.

Former Zimbabwe international, Herbert Dick, believes newly promoted clubs cannot be underrated.

Dick said if the new boys are to survive, they have to put convincing performances in their opening five encounters.

“How you start the race is critical in your campaign. Obviously if the so-called small teams lose their opening games, it becomes difficult for them to pick up. Confidence levels hit rock bottom if they lose and if they don’t have character they will not be able to come out of the relegation zone. The trick that newly promoted clubs can use is to try and avoid defeat and pick up as many points as possible during the first five to 10 games,” said Dick.

Bulawayo-based Bantu Rovers open their account with a home game against 2015 champions Chicken Inn in a city derby.

Rovers will then face perennial title pretenders FC Platinum in Zvishavane in their second game of the season before playing host to Triangle United.

Rovers will then square off against PSL returnees Black Rhinos followed by a home tie against Hwange.

Rovers’ squad is made up of mostly Under-20 players with the only notable players with Premiership experience being goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda, defenders Tapiwa Kumbuyani and Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu as well as striker, Newman Sianchali.

On paper, Rovers have what looks like a weak squad and will start among relegation candidates.

Shabanie Mine’s opening five matches are tricky. They face champions Caps United in their opening match at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane on Sunday followed by an away trip to Bulawayo for a date against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium before hosting Bulawayo City.

In Week Four, Shabanie Mine take on Harare City before making the long trip to Kariba for a date with ZPC Kariba in Week Five.

Black Rhinos’ opening five games are away to Ngezi Platinum Stars, Chapungu at home on Week Two, away to Dynamos, at home to Bantu Rovers followed by a visit to Bulawayo to face Chicken Inn.

Yadah Gunners, who roped in veteran gaffer Jairos Tapera, begin their campaign against Harare City, ZPC Kariba (home), Tsholotsho FC in Bulawayo, Ngezi Platinum (home) and away to Chapungu in Gweru.

Soccer pundit and Warriors’ midfield legend Ronald “Gidiza” Sibanda also believes new teams can’t afford to start on the back foot if they are to survive relegation.

“Hopefully, newly promoted teams have made adequate preparations because playing in the topflight isn’t a joke. There are no relegation favourites right now, but after five games teams that will have lost their opening games will clearly wear that relegation tag.

“What the new teams need to know is that the opening games can shape their survival, so facing strong opposition in the early stages gives them an opportunity to check if they are ready for the PSL. If they lose then they will struggle to get out of that relegation pit,” Sibanda said.

The former Zimbabwe Saints, AmaZulu and Dynamos midfielder also has a message for Tsholotsho FC, who escaped the 2015 and 2016 relegation at the 11th hour.

“With four teams going out at the end of this season, Tsholotsho, who have had divine intervention to survive in the past, mustn’t stretch their luck and hope they can repeat those feats for a third season.

“If they’re not careful they will be relegated,” said Sibanda.

Radio commentator Muziwethu Hadebe said: “The relegation battle will be tricky because with four teams going out, the teams I feel are in danger of being axed at the end of the season are the newly promoted sides unless they work hard and give a real challenge to their opponents. You look at teams like Bantu Rovers and Shabanie Mine, who are yet to appoint coaches with relevant qualifications, and you wonder if they are ready for the Premiership. Another thing that might work against Bantu Rovers is that about 12 players in their squad are turning 18 and the question is will they be able to compete against seasoned players? It’s good to expose youngsters, but will they stand the heat?”

@ZililoR

La Liga boss Zim-bound

Laliga bossRobson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
ANTONIO BARRADAS, the leading representative of La Liga in Africa, is set to make a landmark visit to Harare on Friday to explore partnerships that could, among other things, open avenues for Zimbabwean footballers to ply their trade in the Spanish top-flight league.

La Liga clubs, led by their heavyweight brands Real Madrid and Barcelona, have dominated world club football in recent years with the last three winners of both the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Champions League coming from Spain.

The Spanish top-flight league has also supplied winners of the last three UEFA Europa League titles, which have all been captured by Sevilla, while five of the last seven winners of the tournament have also come from La Liga in what has clearly been a ruthless domination of the European club football landscape.

But, for all its recent dominance of the world club football, La Liga still trails the vastly popular English Premiership in terms of both global appeal and the billions of dollars generated by England’s top-flight clubs, whose value as a business entity continues to soar as it feasts on its growing global popularity.

The La Liga leaders have been trying to counter the English Premiership’s appeal around the world and, two years ago, they opened an office in Africa — whose headquarters are in South Africa — as part of the initiatives to take their top-flight league around the globe.

They have since spread their tentacles to Nigeria and Kenya.

Now, the man who leads that project in Africa, Barradas, is coming to Harare this week for a landmark meeting with ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa to explore a number of business opportunities, including unlocking the doors for Zimbabwean football players to ply their trade in Spain.

“There are a number of issues on the agenda and Antonio is set to arrive in Harare on Friday and will meet the ZIFA boss Philip Chiyangwa and his team and explore areas that could be beneficial for both parties,’’ those who are organising the trip told The Herald yesterday.

“Clearly, La Liga have seen the potential that Zimbabwe provides, in terms of expanding its business around the world and also offering opportunities for Zimbabwean footballers to take their talents to Spain through established partnerships that will make it easy for them to pursue their dreams.

“Football is a huge industry around the world and it has been sort of stagnant in Zimbabwe, in terms of its evolution from the amateur to professionalism, and you can’t make that massive jump without having the right contacts around the world who only need just a phone call to open opportunities for you guys.

“The fact that Zimbabwe was the only country from Southern Africa at the recent Nations Cup finals caught the eyes of those who know what value means and there are a number of your players who also impressed even though you were knocked out in the group stages of that tournament.

“There has always been this question as to why it’s difficult for Zimbabwean players to crack it into the major leagues and I don’t mean playing for Barca or Real Madrid, but the smaller teams in La Liga and only a few months ago the whole continent was buzzing that Khama Billiat was a genius, but he is still in South Africa and these are the opportunities that we are talking about.

“La Liga is a big brand now and the game is technical and that is why the clubs from that league are dominating the game in Europe and in the world and it’s important that Zimbabwean players, the exceptional ones, also get a chance to play there instead of just focusing on playing in England.

“There is also the issue of academies and how talented young players from your country can be taken to Spain for the development of their talents at a very young age.’’

CAPS United’s success in the CAF Champions League this season, where they eliminated five-time African champions TP Mazembe, has also not gone unnoticed.

The Green Machine are reported to be close to concluding a three-year sponsorship deal with the country’s fastest growing mobile network provider.

The two parties are reported to have met on Monday although neither party was prepared to confirm the meeting.

The La Liga bosses have also warmed up to Chiyangwa’s rise in football on the continent and his growing influence in the game around the world and want to exchange notes with him.

“Clearly, your FA boss has enjoyed a stunning rise in the boardrooms of African football and the world has been watching what he has been doing, the mountains he has moved, and it’s natural that those who make decisions would want to interact with him and find ways of how they can move forward together,’’ the sources said.

“He has big connections at FIFA and CAF now and it’s only natural that those who have a vision for the future find a direct line to him and that is why you see all these heavyweights coming to your country and this is just a start.’’

Chiyangwa has denied social media reports claiming he had been appointed the CAF secretary-general.

“I understand that there is a story circulating on the social media, insinuating that I have been appointed to the position of CAF secretary-general. There is no such development, and these are absolute falsehoods,’’ he told the official ZIFA website.

“A CAF secretary-general is the head of CAF’s secretariat, and a full-time employee of the confederation.

“This is an inferior position to the ones I hold now, therefore, I do not harbour any ambitions whatsoever of landing that position.

“Above all, I currently hold far more superior positions to the vacant post, I am the President of both the Zimbabwe Football Association and COSAFA and it will be illogical for me to be appointed as the CAF Secretary- General.

“I am also an advisor to the CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, who is also the Vice President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA); zvidiki here izvozvo?” (is that a small responsibility?) Dr Chiyangwa said.

CAF secretary-general Hicham El Amrani quit his post on Sunday.

Zifa slash intermediaries annual registration fees

Xolisani Gwesela

Xolisani Gwesela

Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
ZIFA have slashed annual fees paid by individual intermediaries from $2 000 to $1 000 following an outcry by player representatives.

Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda and executive committee member Philemon Machana met player intermediaries last Friday in Harare and resolved to reduce the annual registration fees to $1 000.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said company intermediaries will now fork out $2 000, down from $3 000 that had been set earlier.

He said they met Lindela Tshuma, Cousin Zilala, Gibson Mahachi, Maradza Mhiribidi and Denford Mutashu, among others, over the new process and after deliberations, Zifa saw it fit to reduce the fees.

Gwesela said existing intermediaries will no longer be required to provide the irrevocable bank guarantee of $15 000 to Zifa, but to provide insurance cover while the requirement has not been changed for new entrants.

The clause is likely to hinder new entrants getting into the field of player intermediaries, which has changed following the adoption of the Fifa regulations on working with intermediaries that came into effect on April 1, 2015. According to the regulations, an intermediary is “a natural or legal person, who, for a fee or free of charge, represents players and/or clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding an employment contract or represents clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding a transfer agreement”.

According to a communiqué issued by Zifa in January, people interested in being player intermediaries must have knowledge of Fifa regulations on working with intermediaries, a tertiary education certificate, police clearance as a test of good character and reputation, and a 12-month irrevocable bank guarantee of $15 000 from a reputable commercial bank.

“Other requirements and regulations remain in force as stated and application forms should be obtained from Zifa and cost $100. The application form contains a declaration section where one would commit themselves to abiding by the Zifa and Fifa regulations on intermediaries which one should sign and those applying should show the capacity to pay annual fees while previous experience as a player agent is an added advantage,” said Gwesela.

In addition to the requirements for registration of individuals, Zifa said companies seeking to be accredited as intermediaries should submit company registration documents, police clearance, certificates for their shareholders, directors and management members.

Gwesela said the requirements are part of changes the national association is putting in place to curb a rising number of unscrupulous intermediaries that rip off desperate players and clubs.

“I would like to categorically state that as an association we will not tolerate any individuals masquerading as intermediaries when they are not registered with us. If you are not registered please stay away from representing players otherwise we will be forced to invoke football statutes to deal with any such elements,” said Gwesela.

According to the Fifa regulations on working with intermediaries, Article 6, paragraph 3 — national associations should make publicly available at the end of March of every calendar year, for example, on their official website the names of all intermediaries they have registered as well as the transactions in which they were involved in.

The Fifa regulations also state that the total amount of remuneration per transaction due to intermediaries engaged to act on a player’s behalf should not exceed three percent of the player’s basic gross income for the entire duration of the relevant employment contract.

It is expected that the move will clip the wings of some greedy intermediaries, some of who are alleged to demand an equal share with the player.

Messi banned for four international matches

Football Soccer – Argentina v Chile – World Cup 2018 Qualifiers – Antonio Liberti Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 23/3/17 – Argentina’s Lionel Messi looks on during the match. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

ZURICH – Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been banned from their next four competitive internationals, starting with Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Bolivia, for swearing at a match official, FIFA said on Tuesday.

The decision was announced less than six hours before kickoff of the match in La Paz and means the five-times world player of the year will play in only one of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers.

His absence will be a severe blow to the two-times world champions who are struggling in the marathon South American campaign where results have included home defeats by Ecuador and Paraguay and a 3-0 mauling by arch-rivals Brazil.

FIFA said Messi had “directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during the 1-0 win over Chile on Friday, in which he scored the only goal from a penalty.

Television pictures showed him swearing at Brazilian linesman Emerson Augusto do Carvalho at the end of the match after being harried and fouled by Chile’s Jean Beausejour. The official patted him on the head and tried to calm him down but Messi kept ranting.

FIFA said in a letter to the Argentine Football Association (AFA), published by Argentine media, that the incident was not detailed in the referee’s report at the time and was brought to its attention by the media.

Carvalho said he did not understand at the time what Messi was saying.

“I only realized he was swearing afterwards on reading the press,” he said.

Messi, 29, will also miss games away to Uruguay and home to Venezuela and Peru. The Barcelona forward will be eligible again when Argentina visit Ecuador on Oct. 10.

Argentina are third in the 10-team South American group with 22 points from 13 games but have only a two-point cushion over sixth-placed Chile, with Colombia (21) and Ecuador (20) sandwiched in between.

The top four qualify directly for the tournament in Russia next year and the fifth-placed side go into a playoff against a team from Oceania for another place in the global showpiece event.

“This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases,” FIFA said.

The AFA said it would appeal against the decision.

“Messi is sad, today we lost an important player,” said AFA national teams secretary Jorge Miadosqui.

Messi has not enjoyed the same success with Argentina as he has with Barcelona and announced his international retirement last year before back-tracking on his decision.

He also led a player media silence in protest at perceived mistreatment of the team.

Messi was frustrated when Argentina lost 1-0 after extra-time to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, then on penalties to Chile in the 2015 Copa America final and again on spot-kicks to Chile in last year’s Copa Centenario final.

ZIFA happy with Mapeza

ZIFA is satisfied with Norman Mapeza’s performance after leading his Warriors to a 0-0 draw against neighbours Zambia in an international football friendly at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, the strongest hint that the FC Platinum gaffer could be given the job on a full-time basis.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Norman Mapeza (right) giving instructions to Warriors players at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday

Norman Mapeza (right) giving instructions to Warriors players at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday

Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda said yesterday they were happy with Mapeza and would be meeting in due course as an executive to map the way forward.

“What I can only say is that we are happy with Mapeza’s performance. We will be meeting in due course as an executive to map the way forward. We can’t say anything about FC Platinum. We can’t comment further than this,” Sibanda said.

Zifa appointed Mapeza to take charge of the Warriors match against Zambia ahead of the employment of a substantive coach.

It appears Zifa have opted to engage Mapeza to take charge of the team ahead of the Chan and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

The FC Platinum gaffer last coached the Warriors during the 2012 Afcon qualifiers before he left following match-fixing allegations.

He is still owed money by Zifa, but the former Galatasaray man has chosen to overlook the issue and has not hidden his desire to take the job on a permanent basis.

Mapeza insisted after the match against Zambia he would not snub the opportunity to coach the Warriors if he was given the job.

“It’s for the national cause [helping with the national team]. It could be Lloyd Chitembwe or [Sunday] Chidzambwa tomorrow, so it’s a national cause, that is why I am here. It is for the country,” Mapeza said. “For me to be here, it is because of these people [fans], that’s why I am here. If I was someone who was mad at Zifa, I could have gone and took everything at Zifa Village, but I knew one day I would come back and sit on the technical bench. For now I can’t make a decision. I am employed by FC Platinum, they are the ones who can make a decision. I have got a job there, I am there every day, but this is not an everyday job [Warriors]. I am here maybe once in six months,” he said.

Zimbabwe were drawn in Group G, together with the continent’s sixth-ranked side Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Liberia in a qualifying draw conducted in Libreville, Gabon.

Only group winners and the best three runners-up qualify for the tournament, with hosts Cameroon.

PSL stadia dilemma: Clubs fail to meet minimum ground standards

Kenny Ndebele

Kenny Ndebele

Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
THE Premier Soccer League have been thrown into a quandary after most clubs failed to meet the minimum infrastructure pillar of club licensing at the end of the inspection of stadiums across the country.

An inspection across the country by the Zifa grounds committee revealed that most of the venues are in a poor state which has been worsened by the rains.

Now Zifa, through their club licensing arm, First Instance Body, and the PSL are now looking at giving the clubs temporary reprieve so that matches start while the stadiums are being attended to by the stadium owners.

It has emerged that Ascot, Gwanzura, Maglas, Nyamhunga and Dulivhadzimu did not pass the test.

Barbourfields, which only had waterlogging problems in recent weeks, Baobab, Gibbo, Mandava and the National Sport Stadium are some of the stadiums which are up to standard.

Zifa this year are seeking the fulfilment of minimum requirements of club licensing which was introduced in 2010 in Africa but hasn’t been implemented is countries such as Zimbabwe.

The association appear to have made great strides with administrative and personnel criteria of club licensing which, among a host of things, require all the coaches to have a Caf A Licence.

Clubs like Harare City, Yadah Stars and Dynamos have been forced to make changes to their technical departments.

The Sunshine Boys had to elevate assistant coach Mike Madzivanyika to replace Mkhupali “Mr Cooper” Masuku, who was only given a contract at the start of the year but is not a Caf A licence holder.

DeMbare also parted ways with assistant coach Murape Murape who has Caf C licence.

But the Zifa licensing committee appears to have stuck out on the other minimum requirements.

Yesterday, PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele refused to comment referring all questions to Zifa Club Licensing Manager, Xolisani Gwesela, who was unreachable.

However, a well-placed source said Zifa and PSL have decided to have a workshop this week to chart the way forward.

“A meeting between Zifa and the PSL clubs is expected to address the challenges as the association has suddenly realised that they cannot impose but a buy-in from all the parties involved is needed.

“Even some of the big clubs don’t meet the minimum requirements.

“The biggest challenge is that many grounds failed the inspection. The First Instance Body and PSL are trying to engage the local authorities, the owners of these facilities so that there is understanding in writing, that the authorities will undertake some improvements at these facilities during the course of the league.

“Under the system, clubs are expected to have lease agreements and the relationship between them and the local authorities should be symbiotic but right now the relationship is not formal.

“There is a worry that the club licensing system will not be fulfilled, especially with the economic situation that is prevailing in the country, as it would be difficult to have more than five clubs meeting the requirements such as having an office run by staff including a media desk,” said the source.

Already the PSL face a stadium crisis where the National Sports Stadium is the only readily available ground at the moment with four teams looking to use the giant facility as the season gets underway this weekend.

Rufaro is only expected to be ready to host league matches on natural turf in the second week April.

The Harare City Council have said Gwanzura will be ready while some greedy councillors at Chitungwiza Town Council frustrated the bid by Prophet Walter Magaya to renovate Chibuku and bring the Premiership to Chitungwiza.

Magaya owns Yadah Stars and wanted to take his team to Chibuku given that Chitungwiza is his home town but his efforts to renovate Chibuku was frustrated by some councillors who started making outrageous demands.

Manyuchi was careless: Manager

Sports Reporters
WITH debate still raging on what went wrong with Zimbabwe’s boxer Charles Manyuchi following the embarrassing first round defeat to rising star Qudratillo Abduqaxorov, his management team have also criticised the showboating which cost him the WBC welterweight silver title at the weekend.

Manyuchi’s manager Chris Malunga told the Singaporean media that the 27-year-old was “careless” in his approach.

The Uzbek boxer capitalised on Manyuchi’s clowning early in the match and sent him to the canvas twice to bag the match in just two minutes and 56 seconds.

“The technical approach was a bit bad on our side,” said Malunga.

“Charles was careless. That (the showboating) is his style of fighting, but I felt it was a bit early for him to do that.”

Manyuchi, whose record has now been dented to 20-3-1, will now need to go back and prepare for a possible rematch with the 23-year-old.

Malunga remained confident that Manyuchi will still rise.

But it is usually not easy to get a rematch and his Zambian stable Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions would need to make an aggressive bid against the Uzbek.

Abduqaxorov’s camp has since indicated that he will defend his title against Russian Dmitry Mikhylenko, the man who was defeated by Manyuchi last year for the belt.

It may take time before Manyuchi gets another shot. However, Malunga said they have not given up on their dream as they were still eyeing the gold title.

Malunga said the knockout should spur Manyuchi to work harder on his shortcomings.

“Good boxers have taken such knockout (defeats) and come back. So it’s a learning process for us,” he said.

Malunga, who is now heading to Mexico for a title fight with another member of his stable Esther Phiri, also dismissed stories circulating on social media that the match might have been fixed.

“With due respect to everyone’s comments, let’s be very careful. I am appealing to everybody on the group that let’s be very careful with the comments we are making.

“Some of these comments are very negative and total rubbish, unacceptable and I have stated clearly that we are going to issue a comprehensive statement once we come back from Mexico, right now we are still on tour of duty and we do not want to get involved in too much of this.

“What we are looking for is to make sure that we defend the other title in Mexico.

“So all those comments which are coming up are very dangerous to the sport and certain individuals might end answering charges in courts of law because those are serious allegations, so let’s be very careful with our comments.

“I know that everyone is at liberty to comment the way they comment but certain comments are very false and alarming,” said Malunga.

But many in the boxing fraternity have raised concerns over Manyuchi’s showboating and clowning approach in his fight.

The way Manyuchi lost disappointed many of his fans and colleagues.

Boxing trainer, Issa Phiri of Hard Rock, said Manyuchi’s approach to the fight was unprofessional.

“The way Charles performed, I don’t think they did a lot of work as a camp to come up with a game plan towards the fight. I didn’t see the team work, I didn’t see what the camp did to help Charles to come up with a good approach.

“The approach in the first round was not very professional.

“I thought maybe they just felt since this young man is just new into the line, they can just take him easily. That’s why, the way I looked at the video, how Charles performed, he was just Charles without the corner man who told him what to do and he was not on guard.

“He was not serious. He performed as an amateur and he performed as someone who is at home I don’t know why?” said Phiri.

However, Phiri is convinced Manyuchi, given another chance, will bounce back.

Former Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board member, Patrick Mkondiwa, who is also a referee, said Manyuchi was responsible for his defeat.

“First of all we are all disappointed. We were not really expecting this although in boxing a boxer can lose.

“The problem with this bout is our boy did not protect himself.

“From a referee’s perspective, we always tell them to protect themselves. It may be his style of fighting but it has cost him now. He is a good boxer but the problem is the guard,” said Mkondiwa.

Mkondiwa pointed out that although it’s not a pleasant experience, the loss is a good lesson for Zimbabwe’s top boxer.

“I was disappointed but it’s a good lesson, although it cost him his belt. Hopefully he comes back strong.

“Because he removed the guard, he was caught unaware and off guard.

“When he fell, what he should have done was to wait until the referee counted to eight. He was still dizzy and the other boxer went for a straight follow-up before he had recovered,” said Mkondiwa.

Manyuchi was careless: Manager

Charles Manyuchi

Charles Manyuchi

Harare Bureau
WITH debate still raging on what went wrong with Zimbabwe’s boxer Charles Manyuchi following the embarrassing first round defeat to rising star Qudratillo Abduqaxorov, his management team have also criticised the showboating which cost him the WBC welterweight silver title at the weekend.

Manyuchi’s manager Chris Malunga told the Singaporean media that the 27-year old was “careless” in his approach.

The Uzbek boxer capitalised on Manyuchi’s clowning early in the match and sent him to the canvas twice to bag the match in just two minutes and 56 seconds.

“The technical approach was a bit bad on our side,” said Malunga.

“Charles was careless. That (the showboating) is his style of fighting, but I felt it was a bit early for him to do that.”

Manyuchi, whose record has now been dented to 20-3-1, will now need to go back and prepare for a possible rematch with the 23-year-old.

Malunga remained confident that Manyuchi will still rise.

But it is usually not easy to get a rematch and his Zambian stable Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions would need to make and aggressive bid against the Uzbek.

Abduqaxorov’s camp has since indicated that he will defend his title against Russian Dmitry Mikhylenko, the man who was defeated by Manyuchi last year for the belt.

It may take time before Manyuchi gets another shot.

However, Malunga said they have not given up on their dream as they were still eyeing the gold title.

Malunga said the knockout should spur Manyuchi to work harder on his shortcomings.

“Good boxers have taken such knockout (defeats) and come back. So it’s a learning process for us,” he said.

Malunga, who is now heading to Mexico for a title fight with another member of his stable Esther Phiri, also dismissed stories circulating on social media that the match might have been fixed.

“With due respect to everyone’s comments let’s be very careful. I am appealing to everybody on the group that let’s be very careful with the comments we are making.

“Some of these comments are very negative and total rubbish, unacceptable and I have stated clearly that we are going to issue a comprehensive statement once we come back from Mexico, right now we are still on tour of duty and we do not want to get involved in too much of this.

“What we want make to ensure that we defend the other title in Mexico.

“So all those comments which are coming up are very dangerous to the sport and certain individuals might end answering charges in courts of law because those are serious allegations so let’s be very careful with our comments.

“I know that everyone is at liberty to comment the way they comment but certain comments are false and alarming,” said Malunga.

But many in the boxing fraternity have raised concerns over Manyuchi’s showboating and clowning approach in his fight.

The way Manyuchi lost disappointed many of his fans and colleagues. Boxing trainer, Issa Phiri of Hard Rock, said Manyuchi’s approach to the fight was unprofessional.

“The way Charles performed, I don’t think they did a lot of work as a camp to come up with a game plan towards the fight. I didn’t see the team work, I didn’t see what the camp did to help Charles to come up with a good approach.

“The approach in the first round was not very professional. “I just thought maybe they just felt since this young man is just new into the line, they can just take him easily. That’s why, the way I looked at the video, how Charles performed, he was just Charles without the corner man who told him what to do and he was not on guard.

“He was not serious. “He performed as an amateur and he performed as someone who is at home I don’t know why?” said Phiri.

However, Phiri is convinced Manyuchi, given another chance, will bounce back.

Former Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board member, Patrick Mkondiwa, who is also a referee, said Manyuchi was responsible for his defeat.

“First of all we are all disappointed. We were not really expecting this although in boxing a boxer can lose. The problem with this bout is our boy did not protect himself. “From a referee’s perspective, we always tell them to protect themselves. It may be his style of fighting but it has cost him now. He is a good boxer but the problem is the guard,” said Mkondiwa.

Mkondiwa pointed out that although it’s not a pleasant experience, the loss is a good lesson for Zimbabwe’s top boxer.

“I was disappointed but it’s a good lesson although it cost him his belt. Hopefully he comes back strong.

“Because he removed the guard, he was caught unaware and off guard.

”When he fell, what he should have done was to wait until the referee counted to eight. He was still dizzy and the other boxer went for a straight follow-up before he had recovered,” said Mkondiwa

1 2 3 39