Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
PREMIERSHIP side Yadah Stars have been put up for sale, just two weeks into the new season, with the franchise owner Prophet Walter Magaya saying he now wants to concentrate on helping the Young Warriors try and reach the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Magaya also announced he is also shifting focus to organising national leagues, for various sporting disciplines, for his church’s various cells across the country.
The prophet said Yadah Stars will fulfil their fixture against Chicken Inn in Harare this weekend but has invited offers from interested bidders to purchase the franchise.
“Looking at that desire, I am concentrating on rugby, handball and other sports that are within the church, and also putting my energy on the Under-23 soccer team. I think we have a good breed. I want to volunteer to put my aim on the Under- 23 in preparation of the qualifiers (Olympic). It is my desire that in my lifetime Zimbabwe (national soccer teams) qualifies to go to the World Cup.
“So Yadah FC, if anyone is looking for a franchise, yes I will contest with Chicken Inn, but if anyone is looking for a franchise, I would then want to give it out and concentrate on what I am saying.
“I also have 280 cell groups in Zimbabwe alone with membership of about 15 000 people, there in Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare an average of 15 000 per cell . . . so it’s better I also get to my people a chance to contest just for social and I create my own league, that is my desire.
“So frankly speaking, not that l was defeated in Hwange (Yadah lost 2-0) but I just feel like I am limiting myself just focusing on Yadah FC I would want to expand my wings by losing Yadah FC. And also the national team is my top desire than anything else,” said Magaya.
The club’s consultant Wellington Mpandare added that while they remained committed to investing in football, they were changing focus towards national causes with emphasis on the junior national teams.
“You know the team has been in camp for the last three months and the focus was on ensuring that we do very well in the league championship this year,” said Mpandare, who is also the Warriors team manager.
“But when the Young Warriors came to the Yadah Hotel for their campaign ahead of the African Games and Olympic qualifiers, something changed among us, especially for the prophet, because it emerged that resources could be channelled to a bigger national cause.
“The talent in that side is amazing and they need help because if we give them enough support there is no reason why they can’t be a team that can take us places in world football.”
The Young Warriors progressed to the last qualifying round of the Nations Cup last month when they beat Mozambique and will now face South Africa in the last qualifier in June.
Tonderai Ndiraya’s team which has managed to rope in some players based in Europe has shown great potential.
Spain-based goalkeeper Martin Mapisa, VfB Lubeck Under-19 midfielders Seth Patrick and Shama Bako, Scotland based Matifadza Zata and Ards FC Reward Mwakona.