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2020: The year in sports when everybody lost

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CommuTalk Reporters

GWERU: The year 2020 will go down in history as one of its kind.

Simply put it was devastating in almost every sphere of life.

The sports sector in particular, was left at it’s all time low by the marauding effects of COVID-19.

The pandemic actually forced leagues across the continent to end while several sports events including Chan 2020 were indefinitely suspended.

Clubs are reeling in bankruptcy, while others especially those in the lower league already risk folding.

Athletes are not spared either as their income was largely affected if not eroded.

Fans also remained side-lined, something that heavily threatens the incomes streams of football clubs albeit all sports codes are affected.

Infact this is a disaster not known to the sporting fraternity since time immemorial.

What the year 2021 holds for the entirety of Zimbabwe’s sports remains to be seen.

But it is the new normal laws that casts more doubt on the full resumption of all sports codes in the country.

Football

For footballers and football lovers this has been a very awkward year.

All plans for the resumption of football have been set for March 2021.

This followed a raging feud between the key authorities, Zimbabwe Football Association and the Sports and Recreation Commission, a development which largely influenced the cancellation of the proposed bio-bubble tournament.

This year top-flight league teams they have not been able to enjoy the prize money which is usually disbursed at the end of the year to every club according to their positions.

This has not been a normal period for football in Zimbabwe because of the coronavirus pandemic which made it impossible for the domestic season to kick-off.

FC Platinum & Players Beyond Boarders

The Zvishavane side FC Platinum is the only top-flight club that has seen real action.

They are taking part in the CAF Champions league, where they have done fairly well having won the three matches they have played so far.

They look pretty poised to proceed to the group phase of the continental club competition, but match fitness fears have remained a cause for concern.

At least the few players and athletes plying their trade outside of the country have been enjoying good fortunes.

Footballers in particular, have all but regained their match fitness for their respective clubs.

These include Tino Kadewere, Marshal Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba and Teenage Hadebe among others.

Kadewere has however been the shining beacon in Europe as he is undoubtedly man of the moment for his French side Olympic Lyon.

However, no one knows how these stars for performing a spectator-less affair due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Bodybuilding

There has been a measure of progress in bodybuilding.

Recently, bodybuilders from across the country battled it out for the Harare classic, a contest which returned to spotlight after eight years of inactivity.

Although the number of participants were limited to ensure the strict covid-19 protocols, this contest marked the beginning of better strides for the bodybuilding sector.

However, sponsorship issues have remained a nagging problem in the field, although a number of individuals have managed to pitch up for crucial tournaments.

Karate

Zimbabwean Karatekas asserted their dominance in the sport code after they scooped one gold and two silver medals at the International Friendship tournament recently held in Zambia.

Several Southern African countries were represented and Zimbabwe had two representatives, Adam Sneider and Sensei Moses Mutende who both excelled in their respective categories.

Sneider scooped gold medal in the senior men’s category and a silver medal in the men’s open category.

Sensei Mutende won silver in the senior men’s category.

However, the sport is a known high contact sport and who knows how the COVID-19 restrictions has affected and will further affect the sport locally added to sponsorship challenges already existent.

Other Sport Codes

Other sport codes that include Netball, Volleyball, Cestoball and Golf have remained tightly monitored although clubs have resumed group training.

With that there is hope that the new year will bring more relief, and full resumption of activities though action remains bleak.

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