By Hillary Munedzi
Former Zimbabwe Youth International and Premiership title winner, Tinashe Malunga has launched the Zimbabwe Football Forum to address a myriad of challenges facing the beautiful game.
The Mutare-born football superstar will host the first ever Zimbabwe Football Forum that will bring in key stakeholders that will discuss how to create a better enabling environment for the game to flourish and generate revenue.
Working under their sports management and consultancy company, TinMahn Sports, Malunga teamed up with former footballers like Clinton Tinotenda Matiza and roped in different stakeholders from educational institutions, stadium owners, coaches, administrators, scouts, intermediaries, sports analysts, fitness trainers, and club owners.
The inaugural Zimbabwe Football Forum has been slated for October 14 in Harare.
“It is meant to be a forum where all participants may contribute to identify, implement and develop the best professional practice of football especially in Zimbabwe, and the best employment-related standards for football players, to the benefit of its members and of the whole football family.
“Mutare is my home and this is where my career was nurtured at Chirowakamwe Primary School in Dangamvura. I believe that sportsmanship starts at a young age and our pillar of success is derived from the junior league. We should bear in mind that minors are more vulnerable so special attention must be paid to their human development
“AS ZFF, we would want critical football leaders from Manicaland who have football business at heart to explore and expand the football business in this region and try to devise ways that can transform and professionalize it. Leaving football was quite regrettable considering how much it had aided in my upbringing and the person I am today. Football is my life and this is the reason why I am actively involved in the running of ZFF,” said Malunga.
The Forum will be graced by international speakers – four from South Africa and one each from Zambia and Tanzania who are expected to address the participants. Topics to be discussed at the forum include football business and investment; corporate structures; governance & control systems; financial planning; budgeting; reporting and control; revenue generation; football marketing and sponsorship; football and digital transformation; and roles of football intermediaries.
“So what we are trying to do is to incite conversation and discussion around football business and entrepreneurship in line with vision 2030 of creating an upper-middle-income economy and be able to create jobs in the media sector since advertising is one of the pinnacles of the football sector,” said Malunga.
Tinashe Malunga was one of the top players produced at the now-defunct but famed Agatha Sheneti, an academy that also produced the likes of Edward Sadomba, Hardlife Zvirekwi, and Onismor Bhasera.
The former Zimbabwe Under-17 and Under -23 player is now a banker and lawyer by profession, and he holds a Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance Law. Currently, he is studying Sports Law.
He won the Premiership with Gunners in 2009 and played in the CAF Champions league.
The Forum is expected to be launched next week.