Sport Comment: Swaz elections must mark an end to madness

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Today, the Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe (Swaz) meet to elect new leadership that is expected to take matters of the game to the next level.

The Premier Soccer League and its sponsors, Delta Beverages, through its Castle Lager brand, are interested parties in this elective extraordinary meeting that takes place in Kwekwe.

Not in the sense of imposing candidates, but in the proper sense of bridging the gap between writers and sponsors.

Delta sponsors the player of the month, top goalscorer and goalkeeper of the month awards and with five rounds of the season gone, these awards are now due. But who will administer them when those that report on the game are disorganised?

Who will provide the correct information to the league, apart from referees’ reports, on what would have transpired since the league started when the key people are pulling in opposite directions?

This afternoon must mark an end to chaos, it must bring sanity to the body, it must restore respect and stop the trivialities of targeting individuals in the body, plotting against each other when the ultimate winner should be the game.

Since the chaotic Soccer Star of Year selection last year, where people were being accused of wearing regional straitjackets, writers have been deeply divided along those perceived regional lines.

From the north — writers are still bitter than some of the players they wanted on the calendar were disqualified. That’s a fact.

From the South — writers are still bitter than they are being accused of wearing the so-called regional straitjackets.

It therefore boggles the mind, like in the dirty game of politics, as to why everything that comes from the Southern Region is given different and regional interpretation.

And everything that comes from the Northern Region assumes national character.

Previous leaders of the association have failed to address this situation and today (Saturday) we call upon the voters to elect leaders who will unify the organisation, leaders who will see beyond petty issues and administer the game in a professional manner.

We want leaders who will give the organisation a national outlook, not just by filling in positions just for the sake of it, but leaders capable of empowering journalists in their profession.

For long, Swaz has been regarded as a football reporting body and that mentality simply must change.

For goodness’ sake, there are more than 50 registered sporting disciplines in the country and they all deserve a bit of space in the print media and some airtime on radio and television.

We must change that, from today.

Two daily papers have been launched since the last AGM — Daily News and the Mail — and their reporters must be welcomed with open arms because they are now part of the media landscape.

There should be no need to ask people to pay their annual subscriptions before the voting process instead writers must simply register, have their credentials verified and the voting process should then go ahead.

The subscriptions issue must be left to the new executive.

The voting process must not last more than an hour and to avoid, “revenge voting” there should be four ballots for the posts of chairman, deputy chairman, treasurer and secretary- general and the voting process should take place concurrently.

Obviously a lot of campaigning has been going on, some of it late into the night yesterday and some of it will take place today on the road to Kwekwe.

Emails and phone calls were probably flying all over last night and Facebook chatting going into overdrive.

And we all hope it was for the good of the game.

For comments email wtoni@newsday.co.zw or sms 0774864771