Gweru — AFTER a nightmarish outing in their debut season in the Premiership, Hardbody will exit the top-flight league with something to smile about after collecting rich pickings in their final match against champions Dynamos on Sunday.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw, a result which was good enough for Dynamos to defend their league title.
Hardbody grossed US$75 585 on Sunday after 12 844 fans paid their way to watch the match, the biggest crowd to attend a soccer match this season at Ascot.
The funds also came after another huge cash injection realised the previous weekend when another full house witnessed the Gweru-based side's 0-2 defeat to the league's runners-up Highlanders. The Division One-bound side are said to have taken home about US$15 000 after expenses in their match against Bosso. However, it is the match against the Glamour Boys on Sunday which will ensure that Hardbody returns to Division One on a sound financial footing.
Wellington Ngulube, the Hardbody spokesperson, said his side was expecting to net at least US$30 000 after paying off the service providers, who include the Gweru City Council, which charges 20 percent of gross revenue in stadium rentals, and the police, among others.
Meanwhile, police outfit Morris Depot and army side Commando Bullets clinched their Harare Province Division 2A and 2B titles and will next year play in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League.
Speaking during the award ceremony of promoted teams into Division One, guest of honour Desmond Ali encouraged players to shun corrupt activities.
"It pleasing to note that reports of such cases like match-fixing scandals are not rampart in lower level divisions in general and Harare Province in particular," said Ali.
"This is evident that at grassroots level that's where total football is found. You should learn lead by example and shun corrupt tendencies. I urge all management boards and administrators to exercise transparency, accountability, and good governance in your running of sporting activities.
"I call upon members of the corporate world to come abroad and support the nation in rebuilding the game. This is the right time to be associated with football and I bait you will be associated with success, come 2013.
"May I also take this opportunity to congratulate those teams who have been promoted to Division one," added Ali.
Black Rhinos will hold a cocktail to honour their outstanding players and officials at the Army Headquarters (KGVI) Officers Mess on Friday.
The team's premium sponsor Savanna tobacco will sponsor the awards through their Pacific brand.
Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda is expected to be the Guest of Honour. Rhinos powered their way back into the Premiership after an impressive season that saw them clinch the title with three games remaining. Lazarus Muhoni, Lot Chiunga, Trust Torovasei and Brito Gwere are some of the players who were outstanding for Chauya Chipembere.