FORMER Zimbabwe captain Benjani Mwaruwari flew into Harare last night to launch his bid for one of the leadership positions at ZIFA. The former Manchester City forward held meetings with the club’s wealthy owners last week hoping to unlock revenue streams that could help Zimbabwe football. His backers believe that Benjani was in prime position to help Zimbabwe football grow, in the next few years, and the former Warriors’ skipper wanted to play a key role.
“The fact that he has decided to come all the way from his base in England to be there this week, when the nominations will be filed, means that he is serious about playing a role in the boardroom to help Zimbabwe football move forward,” one of his backers said.
“He is fully committed and believes that he has the connections, in Europe, which we need right now if we are to grow as a game and has been making consultations with some of them in the past few weeks and they have encouraged them to come here and play a part.
“Benji was always committed to see Zimbabwe football prosper and this is a man who, during his playing days, would use his personal funds to foot some bills related to the national team because he wanted to see us becoming a success story.
“Now that he is retired, he believes that he can use the connections that he established playing in Europe for a long time, including when he was at Manchester City, to help our game and he is very serious about this.”
Last week, Benjani told our sister newspaper, Sunday News, that he was available to assist domestic football from the boardroom. “I am available to assist in improving local soccer and I believe I can do that in various positions,” Benjani said. “I feel it is time that football people take over the running of the game because time and again we have let other people in but the only reward the game has got is plummeting standards.
“I am ready to use my contacts all over the world to make a difference in the local game. We want football to be the winner at the end of the day so I believe the onus is on people who have roots in the game to challenge for these positions and run football in the interest of the players, coaches, administrators and, most of all, the fans.
“We should not just let any person just come in when we know he has little interest in the game.”