Zimbabwe: Caps Midfielder Portugal Bound

22 January 2020

CAPS United midfielder Blessing Sarupinda could become the first Zimbabwean footballer to play in the Portuguese top-flight in the post-Independence era.

He is set for a stint with an undisclosed club in the European country.

The late former Green Machine coach, Freddy Mkwesha, was the first Zimbabwean to play in Portugal when he turned out for Sporting Braga in the late 1960s.

Sarupinda, a product of the Aces Youth Soccer Academy, is waiting for the necessary paperwork before he flies to Europe next week.

CAPS United vice-president Nhamo Tutisani confirmed the development but refused to name the club. Spurred by Sarupinda's imminent move, CAPS United are set to introduce a new remuneration policy which will see all players benefit from transfers.

"Blessing Sarupinda could be on his way to Portugal where his services are needed and we can start implementing this policy right away," said Tutisani. "We are saying as a club, we are a business entity and whenever a business makes a bumper deal, everyone should benefit directly.

"So, we are working on the modalities and considering percentages which will be given to players, the technical staff as well as the supporters in the event that we manage to sell any of our players."

He said the Green Machine will, starting from this season, allocate a certain percentage from player sales to every member of the squad as the team reaffirm their commitment to professionalise the running of their club.

Ordinarily, players and supporters do not directly benefit from player sales income.

But Makepekepe are doing away with that practice as they believe every member of the team would have contributed equally to the growth of those players.

Already, the team's financial department is working out the percentages to be allotted to players and the technical team in the event that the team manages to sell any athlete.

"Since we now want to professionalise the way we run our club, we have also sought to introduce a remuneration policy at the team whereby every player, as well as supporters, benefit from each transfer made by the team.

"All players may be good enough but not all of them are lucky enough to break into other lucrative leagues. "Look at a player like Hardlife (Zvirekwi). He is a brilliant boy on and off the field of play but was not lucky enough to get a chance to play outside the country.

"There are a lot of players who go to play outside the country from our team and I can assure you that more will find themselves playing in either the South African league or in Europe. But football is a team sport, those who will remain would have contributed a lot to one player's growth in his career.

"It is against this background that, we have, as a team, decided to also incentivise every player at the team whenever we sell an athlete."

Tutisani added that the team's supporters also stand to benefit from the initiative as there could be massive stadium entry discounts on certain matches this coming season.

Makepekepe have since sold two of their players, the 2019 Soccer Star of the Year, Joel Ngodzo, and Dominic Chungwa to Zambian clubs.

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