Caps offered $3b deal

Enock Muchinjo


A LOCAL sports company has offered Zimbabwe soccer champions Caps United a whopping $3 billion for match and marketing rights.


Wilbercyth Privat

e Ltd, a Harare-based sports consultancy and marketing firm, has already written to Caps with a proposal for the lucrative deal, a copy of which is in possession of IndependentSport.


In return Wilbercyth would want the right to market the Harare giants locally and abroad and also assume management of Caps’ home games in the forthcoming Buddie Premier Soccer League championship. If the proposed deal materialises, Wilbercyth will take over the management of gate-takings and all logistics at Makepekepe matches.


The principal consultant at Wilbercyth, Desire Sigauke, said his organisation has already set aside the money and was looking forward to do business with the club.


“Football is now a big industry and it is our aim as a leading sports firm in the country to do business with a professional outfit like Caps,” said Sigauke.


No comment could be obtained from either Caps chairman Andy Hodges or club president Twine Phiri yesterday.


In a related development, Caps United’s links with mobile phone service company Net*One might continue to haunt the club. Caps were left in a quandary after Net*One’s rival Econet took over the sponsorship of the Premier Soccer League.


The Harare giants might be forced to sever ties with Net*One if they qualify for the mini-league phase of the African Champions League, which will be bankrolled by South African telecommunications giant MTN starting this year. MTN has already advised the Confederation of African Football against involving rival companies in the tournament.


This week Caps received $20 million from Net*One to cover travelling costs to Maseru with the company promising to support Makepekepe for the remainder of the continental campaign.


Meanwhile, Caps finally fly out of the country this afternoon for the second leg of their African Champions League first-round tie against Lesotho Defence Forces in Maseru on Sunday.


The Harare outfit were initially scheduled to leave for the mountain kingdom by road on Wednesday, before Air Zimbabwe donated air tickets to the team.


Caps carry a healthy 4-1 lead from the first leg at the National Sports Stadium two weeks ago and should have an easy route into the second round of the tournament.


Caps coach Charles Mhlauri is expected to field an unchanged side for the Maseru match, with all his first-team players having taken part in training sessions before departure this week. Mhlauri said this week that his side will not sit on the seemingly comfortable lead and will employ his favoured 4-4-2 formation to finish off the soldiers.

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