Time to start insuring players
By Alwyn Mabehla
Before even the first whistle was blown last weekend, the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season started on a very depressing note.
The horrific injury that CAPS United skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi suffered, which resulted in him having part of his left arm amputated, following a car accident created a sombre situation for all football followers.
As unfortunate as it is, we all know how administrators promise to stand by footballers who suffer these precarious injuries during their initial stay in hospital, only to dump then a few months down the line.
A lot of footballers who suffered career-ending injuries have had to find their own means back to livelihood after being let down by attention-seeking administrators.
The list of former footballers who have been dumped by clubs after getting injured is endless.
Think of former Dynamos left-back Francis Madziva and the endless promises he got from a number of administrators who promised him help after getting injured on national team duty sometime in 2004.
Former Railstars and CAPS United forward Limited Chikafa was dumped by Chicken Inn after falling to a heart ailment that threatened to cut his career short.
Luckily for the forward, he got help from well wishers who include CAPS United president Farai Jere and the late Adam Ndlovu, his former coach at Chicken Inn, he recovered, came back a determined player and even made it among the best XI of the 2014 season.
While everyone, myself included, are wishing “Ashimolow” a speedy recovery, hoping that one day probably he might don the green and white strip again, it got me thinking what our administrators could do for players who suffer career-threatening injuries.
In South Africa, former Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni injured his knee and was told by doctors he was never going to fully recover and immediately the Buccaneers filed claims for early retirement with the league’s insurers.
Our very own Zhaimu Jambo suffered the same predicament while playing for Kaizer Chiefs and Amakhosi submitted claims on his behalf.
What this basically means is that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) should start thinking along those lines with all the club insuring all the players for death or career injuries. This is a necessity!
Then probably the families of the late CAPS United players Blessing “Yogo Yogo” Makunike, Gary Mashoko, and Shingirai Arlon might have been taken care off.
We do not know whether or not Zvirekwi will return the same player as he was for the last couple of seasons, but if he were to fail to recover then CAPS United would have grounds to make claims on his behalf.
Food for thought for PSL and Zifa I guess! On the field of play, Zifa and PSL seemed to be headed for a brutal collision with respect to last week’s game between ZPC Kariba and FC Platinum.
While PSL had announced that the match venue would be the National Sports Stadium, ostensibly because ZPC Kariba’s home ground, Nyamhunga Stadium had been deemed unfit by the First Instance Body on March 5.
So in their wisdom or lack of it, ZPC Kariba decided against travelling to Harare for their season opener.
Now here is the catch, moments after the match had been abandoned, Zifa announced that Nyamhunga had been approved following inspection on the very day.
Even in all this madness, ZPC Kariba knew they were supposed to travel to Harare for their match.
Why they decided against travelling to Harare is their undoing and they should shoulder the blame.
They basically handed three points to Lizwe Sweswe’s FC Platinum and his men, without even breaking a sweat — such benevolence by ZPC Kariba defeats the spirit of the game!
They simply had to travel to Harare and play FC Platinum — no excuses for that.
They had all the time in the world to appeal the decision to play in Harare and by the time of kick-off, Nyamhunga was still unfit as nothing was official.
Their decision was ill-advised and foolish at the same time.
Mutare City had Sakubva condemned, so was Maglas Stadium — home to Shabanie Mine.
Let’s enjoy the game!!!