English Premiership trophy for Harare

Blessing Malinganiza 

THE English Premier League has grown in leaps to become arguably the world’s most followed top-flight football division, also capturing the imagination of the local fans.

But few have had the occasion to actually attend different stadiums in England where the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Luton, Aston Villa or Everton would be playing.

However, some local fans will get a chance to have a glimpse of the English Premiership trophy from up close, when the silverware comes to town next Thursday.

In a set up similar to the FIFA World Cup, which takes a global tour in the year preceding the final.

It is the first time that the EPL trophy will be coming Zimbabwe and this is courtesy of a local company Castrol.

The Harare EPL trophy presentation is set for Belgravia Sports Club.

Automotive energy giants Castrol have a long history of supporting football both globally and in Africa and were one of the corporate partners for the World Cup when the FIFA showpiece was staged in Africa for the first time in 2010.

Castrol marketing director Africa Jennifer Heyes said in a statement that the trophy tour had been designed in such a way that it would coincided with the title run in which has seen three teams – defending champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool involved in a close battle for the championship.

 “Castrol and the Premier League signed a partnership that began in January 2022, building on our successful sponsorships of the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships.

“Castrol sponsors several awards in the Premier League, such as the Castrol Golden Boot for the player with the most goals of the season, Castrol Playmaker of the Season for the player with the most assists and the Castrol Golden Glove, which is awarded to the goalkeeper with the cleanest sheets for the season,” Heys said.

“The timing of the Premier League Trophy Tour in Southern Africa is helping to build up excitement in the run-up to the final match on 19 May 2024, in which Manchester City is defending the title.

“We are delighted to be able to raise the profile of our brand and the Premier League even further with a fun, action-packed programme in Zimbabwe around the trophy and our living soccer legends.”

A gala dinner has been lined up for April 24 in Avondale with the trophy parade set for the following day at Belgravia Sports Club.

Former Zimbabwe captain and one of the pioneer players to feature in the English Premiership, Peter Ndlovu, is among the guests who will grace the event.

Melanie van Straaten, sales director at Castrol Southern Africa, said: “We have put a lot of thought and planning into devising a programme of events that will reach out to and reverberate with our customers and soccer fans.

“We have drawn on the lustre of soccer legends, radio personalities and social media influencers to bring the game alive for a wider audience.”

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