Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE annual Soccer Star of the Year banquet was held last night in Harare where the who is who of Zimbabwean football was in attendance to witness the crowning of the biggest individual award on the local scene.
Yesterday’s ceremony was a culmination of the process that was started last week when over 90 selectors and a panel of experts met at a Harare hotel to choose the country’s best 11 players, the Goalkeeper of the Year as well as the Most Promising Young Player of the Year.
This tradition of meeting to select the soccer stars has been carried over since the inception of these awards in 1969 when the mode of communication was not as fast as nowadays which necessitated that the panellists meet in one place and do the selection.
With the advent of technology, however, the tradition cannot continue being religiously followed but instead the chosen members of the panellists can actually do the voting electronically just as it is done for the other international awards like the Best Fifa Awards and the Ballon d’Or whose panellists are scattered all over the world.
Those on the list for the above two awards and the recipients of the awards only attend the crowning ceremonies. The Premier Soccer League and their sponsors also need to embrace this way of doing things, moreso in that the monthly individual awards are electronically done by the same panellists with the league announcing winners.
While there is nothing wrong with meeting in one place to cast the votes, the sponsor stands to save a lot of money if the electronic voting system is adopted with the panellists only attending the crowing gala alongside the winning players.
If the PSL and their sponsors feel it’s okay in terms of their financial position to have the panellists meeting in one place for the selection process, then it’s all okay but a lot can be saved if voting for the soccer stars of the year is done in the same way as the monthly awards.
There is also need for the league and the sponsors to allow members of the media to be directly involved in choosing who makes it into the panel as it boggles the mind that some journalists who cover PSL matches week in and week out and who are accredited by the league are somehow not part of the selection panel.