TRUE FRIENDS . . . Vice President of the China-Zimbabwe Federation Zhao “Zivanai” Steven (left), Sino-Zimbabwe Cement sales and marketing manager Ibiam Sengwe, Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa, CAPS United chief executive Joe Makuvire and chancellor at the Chinese Embassy in Harare, Chui Chun, pose for a photo after the launch of the Sino-Zimbabwe Challenge match in Harare yesterday

TRUE FRIENDS . . . Vice President of the China-Zimbabwe Federation Zhao “Zivanai” Steven (left), Sino-Zimbabwe Cement sales and marketing manager Ibiam Sengwe, Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa, CAPS United chief executive Joe Makuvire and chancellor at the Chinese Embassy in Harare, Chui Chun, pose for a photo after the launch of the Sino-Zimbabwe Challenge match in Harare yesterday

Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
The Chinese Embassy has said the friendly match between Dynamos and CAPS United could signal the beginning of a long-standing relationship between the country’s sports fraternity and a range of Chinese companies in Zimbabwe.

The Chancellor of the Chinese Embassy, Cui Chun, said the match, which will be played at Rufaro next Sunday, is part of the events lined up the celebrate the 35th anniversary of the cordial relations between the two countries.

The match was launched yesterday with both Dynamos and CAPS United saying they were ready to plunge into battle.

Winners will pocket US$15 000 while the losing team walks away with US$10 000.

Sino-Zim Cement will be the principal sponsors for the match with Ivato Horizon Supermarket and ZLG, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of bottled water, the promoters of the match.

“This year’s marks the 35th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Zimbabwe. To celebrate this anniversary, the Chinese Embassy here in Zimbabwe and the Chinese community will hold a number of events, including this friendship match,” said Chun.

“We all know that China and Zimbabwe are all-weather friends… We firmly believe people hold the key to building our relations and we believe this match will further promote the mutual friendship and exchanges between our two people.

“So it’s not about competition but the spirit of team work that binds our friendship as two nations. I hope this friendship continues to grow within us from generation to generation.

“The Chinese Embassy here always encourages the Chinese community and the Chinese enterprises to engage with local communities and to shoulder their social responsibilities…. Today the Embassy and the Chinese community sponsor this friendship soccer match.

“I think it is a good opportunity to show the sincere friendship between us.”

This will be the first organised match for both sides since they began their pre-season preparations last month.

CAPS United chief executive Joe Makuvire welcomed the match.

“It’s a great opportunity to announce that as CAPS United we are alive and great. We might have been playing second fiddle but sooner or later we are planning to retake the crown, and it’s going to happen.

“We are happy to be part of this event. We never thought something amazing like this would come our way. We welcome this great opportunity with both hands,” said Makuvire.

Makepekepe were also represented at the launch by their assistant coaches Brenna Msiska and Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi while club president Twine Phiri was also there in his capacity as PSL chairman.

DeMbare had their board chairman Bernard Marriot, Owen Chandamale, coach David Mandigora and skipper Augustine Mbara also in attendance.

Club president Kenny Mubaiwa said the match was a good opportunity to rekindle their rivalry with Makepekepe ahead of the new season.