Boxing might turn out to be the surprise beneficiaries of Prophet Walter Magaya’s investment into sport in the event, as is largely expected, he walks away from bankrolling his Premiership club Yadah Stars.
An official announcement is due to be made today when the Yadah Stars leadership meet in the capital after a turbulent few days that have followed revelations that Magaya had told them they should look for sponsorship to run their affairs.
Alternatively, the football-loving prophet is expected to either donate or sell the Premiership franchise.
Magaya held a meeting with his players, which he conceded was very emotional, on Friday where there was a frank exchange of views with some of the players, including Rodreck Mutuma, telling the prophet they would rather quit football should he insist on not bankrolling Yadah Stars.
Highly-rated winger Leeroy Mavhunga, who has been linked with a move to CAPS United, also told the prophet he would put his football career on hold and concentrate on roles in the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries should Magaya insist he won’t have a change of heart.
The prophet, after hearing the views of the players, is now set to meet the leadership who have been running the club since last year who include club chairman Everson Chatambudza, a Harare lawyer, Magaya’s right-hand man Admire Mango, who is the club chief executive and consultant Wellington Mpandare.
Magaya hosted a number of local and foreign boxers at his Yadah Hotel complex ahead of their participation in a boxing extravaganza at the Harare City Centre on Friday night.
The prophet, who also played for his PHD team in a match against the H-Metro football side at the Yadah Stadium on Sunday, later met the boxers who were staying at his hotel. He was shocked to hear one of the boxers who took part in the Friday contest that she had been paid just $300 for her bout with 10 percent of that purse going to the boxing board of control in the country.
Magaya immediately tasked his team to organise a meeting this week where they can consider how they can help boxing in the country. “We have to look at sponsoring boxing, it’s a good sport and these guys deserve more for what they do,’’ he said.
“I was also a boxer when I was young and I also played football and rugby. I like boxing a lot and it’s a tough sport and it should reward accordingly because those who do it professionally sacrifice a lot and suffer in that ring. We should look at ways of helping the boxers and the good thing is that this sport is also about discipline.’’