Platinum miners Unki have turned down new Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Nichrut’s sponsorship request and have said they are not going to follow in the footsteps of Zimplats and Mimosa by going into football.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Word has been doing the rounds that the Shurugwi-based side had won a sponsorship deal with the company which operates in the same town, but Unki have poured cold water on any involvement with the club or football.
Club owner Nicholas Gara recently made a sponsorship plea, which many thought Unki would respond to.
As the New Year beacons and with pre-season training set to start in two weeks’ time, Gara will have to find other sources of money to salvage the club.
Gara is faced with the huge task of renovating Peak Mine Stadium to meet Zifa standards and pay a projected $30 000 for club licensing.
Nichrut made history by becoming the first Shurugwi-based team to be promoted into top-flight football.
A renowned miner and businessman in the area, Gara inherited the club in 2015 after it was handed over to the community following the collapse of Todal Mine FC.
Unki Mine general manager Walter Nemasasi told NewsDay Sport that his company had no plans of venturing into football, saying that they had more important business to address.
“We are not going to be copying our competitors, like Mimosa and Zimplats, who have opted to invest in sport,” he said.
“Our sole business is mining and under no circumstances are we going to be sponsoring football. We are not in any position to donate funds. We have other important business and profitable issues to address.
“We are actually under pressure from our employees to form a football team, but it’s not even possible, not anytime soon. We have better objectives.”
Unki’s involvement with sport has been hosting of golf tournaments occasionally in the Midlands and has been part of the Annual Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines Golf Championship.