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IT is rare for local footballers to be seen going to church, let alone to declare themselves devout believers.
Teams do prayer rituals before kick-off and that seems to be the only time some players get to be closer to God.
That has to change, according to womena��s football administrator Fungai Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka.
The former Mighty Warriors manager has put a call for girls to consider juggling the ball and going to church, saying this would help them gather strength.
Known by many football fans as a star Mighty Warriors player in her heydays, Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka is a devout member of the Methodist Church.
Recently she was a delegate of the Bulawayo Interdenominational Crusade organised by the Methodist Church. At the conference Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka spoke a lot on her plans to bring in as many women footballers closer to God.
She said footballers were exposed to a lot of pressure and temptations, as such they must commit to church. Oftentimes players make headline news for all the wrong reasons, displaying mischievous behaviour- a scenario that Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka said the church could change.
a�?Players must commit themselves to God. They must go to church and seek redemption every time. It has worked for me and I would want women footballers to do the same.
a�?The reason I am advocating for this stems from the fact that I have seen how some players give in to temptation. If ever they want to prosper in football they must come to church for prayer and worship,a�? said Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka.
She said after attending church, she dedicates her time to Thembalethu Foundation, an initiative that uses football to help young girls.
Thembalethu Foundation recently pledged to sponsor the Southern region womena��s league.
Of late, Christians have developed an interest in football with Prophet Walter Magaya forming Premiership side Yadah Stars. In the city an interdenominational league, Bulawayo Christian League has been in existence for more than five years.
Bulawayo giants Highlandersa�� players under the tutelage of coach Kelvin Kaindu also attended church services regularly as a team.