The Sunday News
Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THIS year’s soccer stars of the year selection process that saw Walter Musona crowned the king of Zimbabwean football drew the highest number of panelists in the history of the awards.
A total of 80 panelists participated in the selection process. The highest number of voters was for the 11 soccer stars where 72 out of the 80 panelists voted. The lowest number of voters was for the top three where only 63 people voted which is nine less than those that had selected the 11.
The coach of the year which went to Norman Mapeza received 69 votes while the most promising player award won by Jayden Bakare had 66 votes. For the Fans’ Choice award, a new accolade introduced this year and won by Tinotenda Benza of Herentals attracted 9 179 voters online. According to convener of the selection panel, Lawrence Moyo, the increased number of panelists had been necessitated by the growth in various media platforms.
“There were 80 panelists shortlisted and they were coming from coaches, captains and members of the media. This is the highest number of panelists in the history of the awards and this was triggered by the growth in figures of media platforms covering print, radio, television and online platforms. In moving with the times, the voting process moved from the traditional manual event at Mandel Training Centre where previously everyone would gather there and do their voting manually.
“This time the selection was done electronically with panelists voting from wherever they are. After every round of voting the auditors who were at where we were based would then proceed into the next stage after verifying everything would have been done according to the procedure that is the problem the process took us a bit long and we finished after 1pm. Since the voting was done online with the panelists voting online, not everyone who was meant to vote managed to exercise that privilege. The process was done remotely, not everyone participated on the day in terms of those who were shortlisted and those who had taken part in the other ballots.”
Moyo said in future they will make public the selection process procedure before the season starts to avoid conspiracy theories when the soccer stars are announced at the end of the season.
“Looking forward to next year we are hoping to have the rules of selection known before the first game of the season. This l believe will help eliminate any conspiracy theories. We also intend to have a journalists awards to honour the members of the media for their contribution to the game.” – Follow on Twitter @innocentskizoe