Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER wild claims of biased voting based on regionalism and fanaticism, the Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe (Southern Region) has demanded the disclosure of the voting pattern for the 2013 Castle Lager Soccer Stars. According to the regional block of sports writers, disclosure of the ballot papers will put to rest unsubstantiated claims that scribes’ votes were biased towards their regions and teams.
“We see no reason why our vote should be secret when we claim to follow Fifa requirements. Fifa’s Ballon d’or selection is published on their official list and the world will see how those who voted did so in terms of their choice of candidates. Why are we being accused of having been biased? I really see no reason behind that,” said Swaz (Southern Region) chairman Mehluli Sibanda.
He said it was disheartening that some quarters wanted to push their own selfish agenda against journalists from the southern region so that they would be viewed as being unprofessional and fanatics of certain teams from the region, thereby putting their presence on the panel in dispute.
“If those ballot papers are made public, the nation will get the truth on what actually happens when we vote. It will be clearer perhaps who votes on regional lines,” said Sibanda.
He said if claims of regional voting were true, a big team like Highlanders would naturally have had more players.
Outspoken Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere had no kind words for journalists soon after the selection process in Harare on November 23, accusing them of fighting their wars at the expense of football. He felt some scribes were biased towards their favourite teams.
There were 49 selectors made up of journalists from various media houses, members of the Football Union of Zimbabwe and coaches of the 16 PSL teams.
Chairman of the panel of selectors, renowned broadcaster Steve Vickers concurred that there was a need to make public the voting process but there were some contractual issues to be looked at first.
“I would not rule that out, it’s something that can be considered especially in view of the Fifa Ballon d’or but remember Delta Beverages signed a three-year contract with the league,” he said.
The three-year Delta contract ended two weeks ago with Dynamos being crowned champions and Vickers said they would be reviewing the whole selection process.
“As we review the selection process we need to take into account all those suggestions so that the process is as fair as possible,” said Vickers.
Tensions between Southern and Northern Region scribes reached boiling point in 2010 when the then chairman of selectors Charles Mabika walked out in protest over the disqualification of Dynamos goalkeeper Washington Arubi and Ashley Rambanepasi.
The 2013 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year and his two runners-up will be unveiled at a banquet in Harare this Friday.
Also set to be unveiled will be the Referee of the Year, his two runners-up, the Coach of the Year, the Rookie of the Year and the Goalkeeper of the Year.
The 49 selectors:
The Sunday Mail – Ishemunyoro Chingwere, Langton Nyakwenda, Fatima Bulla, Tendai Chara; The Herald – Grace Chingoma; The Chronicle – Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Tobias Mandoreba, Paul Mundandi, Ricky Zililo; The Sunday News – Mehluli Sibanda; Manica Post – Ray Bande; Umthunywa – Nkosilathi Sibanda; H-Metro – Mugove Chigada, Chipo Sabeta; Star FM – Howard Musonza, Yvonne Mangunda, Spencer Banda; B Metro – Fungai Muderere; Newsday – Henry Mhara, Daniel Nhakaniso, Tawanda Tafirenyika; Dailynews – Godknows Matarutse, Sakheleni Nxumalo, Farai Machamire, Nigel Matongorere, ZBC – Merit Munzwembiri; Gemazo – Tatenda Makanda; Outpost – Jere Chikambure, The Patriot – Alvin Madzivanzira; The Southern Eye – Fortune Mbele, Sukoluhle Mthethwa; The Standard – Albert Marufu; Zi FM – Alois Bunjira; Black Rhinos – Arthur Tutani; Buffaloes – Timothy Masachi; Caps United – Brenna Msiska; Chicken Inn – Julius Ndlovu; Dynamos – Philmon Mutyakureva; FC Platinum – Lloyd Mutasa; Harare City – Bigboy Mawiwi; How Mine – Philani Ncube; Highlanders – Tembo Tshuma; Hwange – Mebelo Njekwa; Monomotapa – Biggie Zuze; Shabanie Mine – Luke Masomere; Triangle – Gishon Ntini; Tripple B – Peter Manoti; FUZ – Desmond Maringwa, Paul Gundani.