Zimbabwe Saints is back!

0
86

FALLEN giants of Zimbabwe football Zimbabwe Saints are back on the local football scene after merging with Mpopoma-based juniors outfit Mpumelelo who are sponsored by former Chikwata official Lloyd Munhanga.

SAKHELENI NXUMALO
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

While Munhanga refused to comment on the merger and referred all correspondence to the Saints leadership, a reliable source told Southern Eye Sport that both parties would soon release an official statement to announce this latest development in Chauya Chikwata’s comeback efforts.

“It is true that Mpumelelo and Zimbabwe Saints have merged and because Saints is the bigger brand, the Mpumelelo name will fall by the wayside.

“This will soon be communicated to the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa). As a result, Zimbabwe Saints will this year have a presence in the Bulawayo Province Junior League,” the source said.

He added that efforts were underway to secure a slot in the Bulawayo Province Division Two, but Zifa Bulawayo Province boss Washington Chimhanda said they were yet to receive any official approach from Saints.

“They have not approached us and the official position is that they can apply to be accommodated in Division Three as all the slots in Division Two are occupied.

“Bulawayo Province will be guided by the (Zifa Southern) region as Saints have to be cleared by them first considering that they were not relegated, but were expelled,” Sithole said.

Chauya Chikwata were kicked out of Zifa Southern Region Division One at the beginning of the 2014 season after failing to meet financial obligations. Saints official Gibson Homela believed their expulsion was punishment enough.

“I believe that being fired means we have been punished because we did not play last season and spent the whole year in football wilderness,” Homela said.

The legendary former Saints and Warriors utility player said financial constraints were the major hindrance to their revival efforts. He added that with money they could easily bounce back.

“I still think that we will play, so do not write us off. There are ways to get into any division especially if the finances are available,” he said.

“The main challenge we face is financial. People do come when we call them for meetings to map the way forward, but when we start talking of finances they draw back,”.

The once mighty Zimbabwe Saints were champions in then Super League in 1988 and went on to represent the country in the African Cup of Club Champions in the following year and reached the quarter-final stage.

They were losing semi-finalists in the Cecafa Club Championships in 1988.

The turn of the century saw Chauya Chikwata becoming Chaenda Chikwata as Saints became cannon fodder for football jesters because of their futile efforts to buy their way back into the top flight after getting relegated.