BLACK Rhinos goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo’s the Castle Lager goalkeeper of the year award has once again raised questions over the selection process of the soccer stars.

Fortune Mbele
Sports Reporter

Rusawo was announced the goalkeeper of the year at a banquet held in Harare on Friday night and walked away $2 000 richer ahead of Dynamos’ George Chigova and Highlanders’ Munyaradzi Diya who were selected among the 11 best players of the year last month.

A former sports editor of a local daily Clemence Marijeni now based in the United Kingdom yesterday questioned the criteria used to select the goalkeeper of the year on social network Facebook.

“Black Rhinos goalkeeper Hebert Rusawo is goalkeeper of the year. He is not among the 11 soccer star of the year finalists. Two other goalkeepers — George Chigova and Munyaradzi Diya — made it into the 11 finalists. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the 11 finalists were the best players of the season, were they not? If Rusawo was the best goalkeeper why was he not on the final 11? How did Diya and Chigova make it ahead of someone better than them? There are a lot of questions to be asked, but maybe the most pertinent would be: What does this say about the selectors and the process?” Marijeni quizzed.

A local sports reporter, who was not part of the panelists that conducted the selection process last month, responded: “For the two Chigova and Diya, I think the 49 panelists voted for them. As for the goalkeeper of the year, I think it was not voting, but stats were used in matches played and goals conceded by the goalkeepers, what is of interest is that Chigova and Diya played more games than Rusawo. So it was down to mathematics here I believe. The process has not been the best for a long time and it needs a serious relook.”

According to the final table of the goalkeeper of the year compiled by the Premier Soccer League, Rusawo played the least number of games (17) compared to Chigova who played 22.

The Dynamos shot stopper in his 22 games conceded 15 goals while Rusawo allowed in 11 goals.

On average Rusawo conceded 0,65 while Chigova conceded 0,68 albeit the DeMbare shot stopper having played more games than the armyside’s goalkeeper, whose team almost got relegated ending the season on 40 points, two rungs and two points above Black Mambas, the last team to be shown the exit. Diya played the most number of games than the two featuring in 24 outings and conceding 18 at an average of 0,75 and is at par on average with DeMbare’s second choice goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi who only made eight appearances and conceded six goals.

Questions arise on how the goalkeepers conceded their goals including analysing the strength of their defences and whether that is accounted for in the selection process.

Efforts to get an explanation of the criteria used to come up with Rusawo as the goalkeeper of the year were fruitless yesterday as the selectors’ convener Steve Vickers’ mobile phone went unanswered.

There were also questions about the choice of Muparati as soccer star of the year.

  • Castle soccer star of the year: Tawanda Muparati (Dynamos) — $5 000
  • First runner-up: Silas Songani (Harare City)— $3 000
  • Second runner-up: Kudakwashe Mahachi (Chicken Inn) — $2 000
  • Coach of the year: Bigboy Mawiwi (Harare City) — $2 000
  • Goalkeeper of the year: Herbert Rusawo (Black Rhinos) —$2 000
  • Golden boot: Tendai Ndoro (Chicken Inn) — $3 000
  • Most promising player: Ronald Pfumbidzai (Caps United) — $2 000
  • Referee of the year: Nomore Musundire — $2 000
  • First runner-up: Tiwone Kacheche — $1 500
  • Second runner-up: Thomas Kusosa — $1 000
  • Most disciplined team: Harare City — $10 000

The 11 finalists:

George Chigova, Tawanda Muparati, Gift Bello (all Dynamos), Silas Songani (Harare City), Charles Sibanda (FC Platinum), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Kuda Mahachi, Tendai Ndoro (both Chicken Inn), Menard Mupera (How Mine), Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Munyaradzi Diyam (Highlanders).

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