THE 2004 Castle Larger Soccer Star of the Year could walk away with $10 million while the other finalists are expected to pocket $5 million each, IndependentSport heard this week.
Sources at Delta Corporation, the sponsors of the soccer star awards, this week said the prize money for the player who was chosen by sports journalists as the best player this season would be increased from last year’s $3 million.
Delta’s public relations manager Evaristo Benyere on Wednesday, however, said the prize money could only be disclosed next week at the awards banquet.
“The prize money is definitely higher than last year’s. But I can’t disclose the amount. It will only be announced next week at the banquet,” he said.
Last year Caps United and national team goalkeeper scooped the award and the $3 million prize money.
Railstars’ Njabulo Ncube, Honour Gombami of Highlanders and Caps United’s utility player Cephas Chimedza are in the running for the top individual award.
The banquet, to be held at a restaurant in Harare next Friday, will also include the award of the coach of the year as well as the outstanding referee and two runners-up.
Benyere said Delta has put plans in place to make the banquet the best event in the history of the soccer star awards.
“It will be a five-star event. We want to bring professionalism into soccer. That is why we are moving from the hastily arranged event like we used to have in the past to a five-star banquet,” he said.
“We are happy with the selection done by the Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe and acknowledge the criticism coming from some angles as a sign of divergent views and choices.”
The other finalists for this year’s award are Ronald Sibanda (Amazulu), Clement Matawu (Motor Action), Method Mwanjali (Shabanie), James Matola (Dynamos), Raymond Undi (Caps), Ian Bakala (Caps), Tapuwa Kapini (Highlanders) and Dabwitso Nkoma (Highlanders).