THE wait is finally over and the questions that have dominated national debate for a couple of months now would be answered tonight when the king of Zimbabwean football and the Coach of the Year are crowned.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
As it was in the Castle Lager Premier League race between Highlanders and Dynamos, the two teams will square up again, but this time on a different platform.
Although Monomotapa’s Ronald Chitiyo is a dark horse to land the season’s highest football accolade, the race looks set to be between Dynamos’ Denver Mukamba and Masimba Mambare of Highlanders for the Soccer Star of the Year award.
Mukamba and Mambare were at the centre of their teams’ amazing run in the just-ended season.
In the Coach of the Year category, debate suggests it would be a tug-of-war between DeMbare’s Kalisto Pasuwa and Kelvin Kaindu of Bosso.
If Kaindu and Mambare were to win in their respective categories, it would go a long way in making up for Bosso’s heartbreak after they finished as runners up despite finishing with the same points tally. Goal difference came into play.
It is not certain who will win, but what is sure is that any outcome would torch dispute and debate, making tonight’s awards even more intriguing.
The Mukamba advocates, most of who are also in Pasuwa’s corner, naturally, contend that their man played better football and was consistent throughout the season.
Mukamba has won three pieces of silverware with Dynamos this term; the Charity Shield, Castle Lager premiership and the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
On the other hand, Mambare finished empty handed with Highlanders.
Yet the Mambare camp, which is also rooting for Kaindu, argues that Mambare won important matches for his team and was more consistent.
The awards race is as intriguing as was the league race between the two teams, leaving the football family divided.
It would be cruel for Pasuwa if he failed to win the coaches’ award again after being snubbed under similar circumstances last season. Those backing Kaindu argue that the Zambian gaffer managed to rebuild Bosso into a formidable side from average players.
The debate will continue long after the awards.
Some feel the responsibility to choose the best players in the country should be taken away from football writers because they have failed in their responsibility by taking sides depending on their region.