ZIFA Southern Region debutantes Binga Pirates are in dire need of sponsorship to see them through the season and fulfil a lifelong dream to bring professional football to the vast Matabeleland North district.
No team in Binga has ever played First Division football.
In 2017, little known Lunda FC from Binga qualified to play First Division soccer but bailed out as a result lack of sponsorship.
Now yet another club is looking to break barriers and take the beautiful game to Binga District.
The club has jumped the first hurdle; paying a commitment fee of $1 000 to the Zifa Southern Region, but the struggle is far from over.
“Our budget for the season is about $45 000, which is a lot of money for a small club such as ours, and we are appealing for sponsorship for referees’ fees and travelling costs for away matches.
“To show our commitment to play in Division One, we paid a commitment fee that the league bosses asked for and we have been running around trying to source funds to register our players and technical team,” said club chairman Godwell Mavangira.
To register with Zifa Southern Region, Binga Pirates need to pay the outstanding $1 500 affiliation fees, $500 for 25 players’ licences and $250 for the technical team members.
The club is community-funded and a number of Binga businesspeople have pledged to chip in with funds for travel costs and allowances for the players.
It remains to be seen if the pledges will be fulfilled or it was just grand standing on the part of the local business community.
The Zifa Southern Region Division One League is made up of teams from Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces, meaning Binga Pirates will need resources to travel for games in Hwange, Victoria Falls, Turk Mine and the City of Kings.
To date Zim Leopards of Bulawayo have indicated that they are pulling out of the Zifa Southern Region due to financial constraints.
“We, the people of Binga, will have ourselves to blame if this football project fails because no outsider will come and give our children the opportunity to play professional football. It’s up to us to the make sure Binga Pirates succeeds and our youngsters are exposed to life outside our rural communities,” said Mavangira.
The Zifa Southern Region season kicks off on 30 March.