HARARE – NetOne acting-board chairperson Peter Chingoka said the mobile phone services provider will always be dedicated to funding various national football teams in the country.
By Nigel Matongorere
The former Zimbabwe Cricket board chairperson, who was last week elevated to lead the NetOne board on an interim basis, was speaking at a ceremony where the telecoms company was unveiled as the Warriors’ official sponsors for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon.
NetOne through their latest marketing campaign, OneFusion, will bankroll the Warriors’ sojourn in Gabon where they are in a tough Group B with Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia to the tune of $250 000 which will cater for all of the side’s running costs
In the past few years while other corporate players are dithering, NetOne has come on board to support the most beautiful game at the highest level,” Chingoka said.
“In August last year, the women’s national team, the Mighty Warriors were on the verge of failing to fulfil their away fixture to Cameroon in the final Olympic Games qualifier. We as NetOne came to the rescue, securing their flights, accommodation and various other expenses.
“As a result, the team made it to the Olympic Games; a first by any local soccer team in the history of Zimbabwean football. In September this year, the men’s senior national team, the Warriors were in a similar predicament as they were in danger of failing to travel for their final Afcon qualifier away to Guinea.
“NetOne duly assisted to the tune of $100 000. The result was good morning to Gabon… we are very proud as NetOne because we played our part leading to that.
“Having ended a 10-year sabbatical from the leading competition, the all-conquering Warriors once again bumped into a familiar fix of funding. Zifa once again made their cry and we saw sense in supporting them.”
Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane commended the company for giving football a much-needed boost in this harsh economic climate.
“I would like to appreciate NetOne through the acting-board chair for agreeing to come into this partnership; this synergy into football. This is very important and quite commendable,” Hlongwane said.
With Zifa currently sitting on a $7 million debt, the association’s president Philip Chiyangwa said the sponsorship from NetOne will directly benefit the players and technical team.
“I would like to thank NetOne and all those that have been supporting Zifa and myself in the year that I have been in office,” he said.
“…you know we were at 53 Livingston Avenue and we ran away from there because of a huge debt but the good news is that we will be confronting the creditors in the new year and hopefully cut a deal.
“These are debts that were incurred in my absence and I don’t want the NetOne money to go into a Zifa account and then somebody presents a garnishee order and takes the money.
“That’s why I have said from now on, all the money coming from sponsors will go directly to the recipients and not through Zifa.
“Please pay the (Kalisto) Pasuwas, the players, the hotels and other service providers directly and not through Zifa.”
With this partnership with NetOne sealed, Chiyangwa said the Warriors should now concentrate on playing football and winning the tourney.
“Pasuwa, I’m sure you have seen the money our sponsors have given us. When the Warriors arrive for camp, they ask for their allowances first,” he said.
“When all the players are in camp please tell them their money is available so they just concentrate on playing football and making the people of Zimbabwe proud.- Daily News