ONE wonders why our government has an Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry yet we continue to lag behind in sports development compared to other countries — with South Africa and Botswana being our feasible success stories next door.The Open goal by Siphambaniso Dube
It would seem our government is still in some deep slumber and a wake-up call is greatly needed. What we need to know is that sport is now an industry that needs a ministry of its own.
Football in particular, is the greatest employer in today’s flourishing economies world over. In Zimbabwe, we continue to take football and other sports as leisure, something that can be done over the weekend.
I remember vividly when Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) won the right to host the Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) and needed government approval that they were fully behind the venture.
What we got as a country was full embarrassment when Afcon was taken away and with it, failure by Zimbabwe to take advantage of a prospective economic boom and infrastructural development, especially in stadia and hotel and catering industries.
Will the corporate world come in and support football and other sports if our own government is not showing any support for the cause? No.
South Africa and Botswana companies are heavily rebated for sponsoring football and other sports. Yes, our government should ignite interest in the corporate world to be involved in sport.
Let us say all companies involved in sponsoring football and other sports were fully rebated and did not pay tax completely, how many companies would fall over each other to sponsor sport?
All clubs in the South African Absa Premiership get monthly cash injection of R1 million into their coffers.
This is before television rights and individual sponsorship.
How do companies like Vodacom and MTN sustain that? It is because they are heavily rebated making it easy for them to invest in the sports industry, a marketing vehicle for them.
Econet Zimbabwe is a classic example of a company that is flourishing — without any doubt. How much tax do they remit yearly to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority? It is obviously hundreds of millions of dollars.
If they were to be rebated completely or partly for sponsoring football and other sports, many of our youths and professionals would be employed in the sports industry.
Unemployment levels would be reduced and the government would still get their tax from these employed professionals and youths.
Do people know that Samuel Eto’o of Anzhi Mackhachkala is the highest paid football player on the planet? This is how his salary breaks down.
Annual Salary — ₣20 000 000
Monthly — ₣1 666 666,67
Weekly — ₣384 615,38
Daily — ₣54 794,52
Hourly — ₣2 283,11
Minute — ₣38,05
Second — ₣0,63
By the time you have finished reading Eto’os salary breakdown, Eto’o would have earned another ₣15.
Is our Zimbabwean government denying football players and other sports people those highest earnings?
- Dube is a Bulawayo-based soccer administrator