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Govt Urged to Allocate Significant Funds for Sport

Cricket Player Stuart Mastikinyeri
The sports family is hoping for a big budget allocation as Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa presents his budget on Thursday.

Since 1980, sport has not received much financial support from the government. The sports fraternity is hoping for a change of attitude this time around.

This follows the separation of sport from the Ministry of Education which was taking most, if not all of the money leaving sport with little or nothing at all.

Even the then Deputy Minister of Education, Arts, Sports and Culture, Lazarus Dokora who is now the Minister of Education, admitted during their time in office that they were not doing enough for sport.

He, however, admitted that sport needs funding on its own.

Cricket follower Tendayi Muchena says the divorce of the sport ministry from education proves that the government now recognizes sport as an important field.

He hopes that the ministry will this year get a bigger share of the national budget.

Light middleweight boxing title aspirant, Farai Gudo Mugoni, says sport has gone down due to lack of funding as most of the companies that used to support it have closed down.

He it can be revived through state funding.

However, Harare City Football Club follower David Munetsi says any state funding should be channeled towards development programmes and more importantly in the rural areas where there is abundant talent.

Hockey player Munyaradzi Munemo agrees, saying most of the money should not be distributed to football because of its popularity but equally among all the associations registered with the Sports and Recreation Commission.

In fact, Munemo says football should not be a beneficiary as the sport can sustain itself from gate takings and the sponsorship it receives from the corporate world but the money is not being used properly.

Only last year, the Zimbabwe Football Association managed to raise $500,000 for Zimbabwe’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier held in Angola only for two weeks later to withdraw the Under 17 and Under 20 teams from Pan African football, claiming lack of funds.

However, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube says they are getting nothing from gate takings.

He says they are also hoping for government funding for all the national teams.

Dube adds that in other countries, national teams are funded by their governments, noting that they have also forwarded their request to have the same happen in Zimbabwe.

On Thursday, however, sport will know whether their prayers for government funding have finally been rewarded.