Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
MINISTER of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry yesterday hailed the discipline in the Warriors camp after financial institution FBC Holdings came in full support of the team by pledging lucrative bonuses and houses for the Zimbabwe delegation if they excel at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon.
FBC Holdings Group Chief Executive Officer John Mushayavanhu yesterday said each member of the Warriors delegation is set to get a bonus of US$1 000 for winning a game at the AFCON tournament.
The gesture, although coming when the team was already in the thick of AFCON battles, was expected to spur on the Warriors, starting with their match against Malawi last night.
The Warriors have had a commendable run during the buildup of the tournament as compared to the previous two editions, when players and the management were involved in endless fights over lack of payment of bonuses and allowances.
Coventry was also excited that the team has managed to maintain a secure bubble as there have no Covid-19 cases reported since Zimbabwe arrived in Cameroon. Many teams have been struggling to maintain a clean bill of health because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank the SRC and the ZIFA secretariat for allowing our team to be, not only at AFCON, but to be safe at AFCON. We are probably still the only team, as of today (yesterday), to test negative for Covid-19. So it means that all our protocols are all in place and everything is working very well.
“I have been getting responses from the team that is there, that the players are in good form and very positive, which is a very good thing.
“If you remember in 2019, the first few weeks were not so good. The players were not so happy. So it’s good that we are seeing improvement and that is a very positive thing.
“Secondly, I would also like to thank the FBC Holdings family.
“They are now part of the family and we welcome you. We are very appreciative as Government.
“I am sure the thanks will also come from His Excellency, we know how strongly he loves his soccer. So any form of gesture like this must be appreciated.
“I am sure the team will be extremely excited to hear of this.
“We hope we can see this partnership even exceeding and move forward after AFCON and we can see how better to support our players in the long term,” said Coventry.
The team received a huge boost after one of the country’s biggest financial services institutions, FBC Holdings Group, dangled US$1 000 bonus each for the Warriors for every game they win have also pledged 27 houses (worth US$60 000 each) to be handed to the players and four members of the technical side in the event that they surprise themselves by winning the tournament.
FBC Holdings Group Chief executive officer, Mushayavanhu, made the announcement ahead of yesterday’s kickoff.
“Our theme for this initiative is ‘Bring the AFCON Cup Home and Get a House Courtesy of FBC Holdings Limited’.
“We are pleased to announce that FBC will reward the 23 players and the four members of the coaching staff with a fully completed house under the FBC Building Society Fontaine Ridge Housing Project, with the Medical team and the team manager each getting USD$10 000 cash from FBC Holdings if the Warriors win the 2022 AFCON Tournament.
“Hon. Minister, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking of 27 houses here! The houses are located along the strategic Harare to Bulawayo Road with easy access to the Central Business District,” said Mushayavanhu.