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Zimbabwe's Highlanders Seek Funding To Contest African Champions

Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League champions Highlanders are in negotiations with seven players from local football organizations to bolster their squad ahead of the Africa Champions League competition beginning early next year.

Egypt's Al Ahly, dubbed "team of the century" by the Confederation of African Football in 2000, currently holds the Africa Champions title.

Highlanders recently clinched the Premier Soccer League title with three games left in the season, but will not be receiving any prize money as the league lacks a sponsor. The team needs Z$250 million (US$1 million) to join the Africa Champions battle.

Reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye asked team chairman Ernest Sibanda how his team expects to raise this large sum in a recessionary economic environment.

Meanwhile, Innscor Africa, sponsor of Highlanders and Dynamos, said Wednesday it will sponsor the Soccer Star of the Year award with Z$6 million prize money.

The Sports Writers Association meets Saturday to start the selection process and the winner is expected to be announced on Dec. 15. Former Caps United player Joseph Kamwendo, a Malawian, was awarded the distinction last year.

More reports from VOA's Studio Seven for Zimbabwe...