Senior Sports Journalist
FORMER footballer Terrence Malunga is set to host the first-ever Zimbabwe Football Forum, which brings together key stakeholders to exchange ideas on how to professionalise and transform the national football industry in trouble.
Malunga, a former Zimbabwean youth international and Premiership title winner with the Gunners in 2009, has teamed up with another former footballer, Clinton Tinotenda Matiza, to drive the narrative through their sports management and consultancy company, Tin Mahn Sports.
The first Zimbabwe Football Forum is scheduled for October 14 in Harare.
Malunga said the inaugural conference targets all stakeholders in the game including fans, government, ZIFA, businesses, football players, football clubs, entrepreneurs and the media.
The organizers have also brought in key players such as the Premier Soccer League, educational institutions, stadium owners, coaches, administrators, scouts, intermediaries, sports analysts, fitness trainers, club owners and many other interested parties.
Six international speakers – four from South Africa and one from Zambia and one from Tanzania – are expected to address the participants.
“This is a football business forum, the aim being to provide a platform where we bring together all of football’s critical leaders within the industry and all other stakeholders with similar interests in sport to explore football as a business and try to design ways that we can transform and professionalize it.
“I am a former footballer but I left the game a bit early to pursue other things in academia and now I am back in football,” Malunga said.
“The same goes for Clinton. What we have realized is that football is not treated as a business, but as a hobby. But if you look at the global football market, it’s a multi-billion business.
“So what we’re trying to do is spark conversation and discussion around the business of football and in doing so generate business and networking opportunities.
“We also want to provide an open platform where we can exchange skills, experience and knowledge,” Malunga said.
Some of the topics discussed at the forum include football business and investment, corporate structures, governance and control systems, financial planning, budgeting, reporting and control, revenue generation, football marketing and sponsorship, football and digital transformation, the roles of football intermediaries. .
The organizers are also set to bestow one of the unsung heroes of local football development with the first prize for dedication to football development.
This honor will be awarded annually to outstanding individuals in recognition of their dedication to the development of football through their lifelong commitment to training, mentoring, advising and passing on skills to young players (both boys and girls).
The forum, which also seeks to stimulate creativity, innovation and investment within the ever-changing football industry, is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.
“With a number of local and regional speakers and panelists lined up to address some of the most relevant topics or issues in modern football, ZFF promises to be a panacea to contemporary challenges.
“I therefore call on all football stakeholders, businesses, educational institutions and people passionate about football to join us in leading and initiating positive change for our local football industry.
“ZFF 2022 is being held in Harare and will be moved to other different cities, regions and venues in Zimbabwe every year,” Malunga said.
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. He is currently studying sports law.
He won the Premiership with the Gunners in 2009 and played in the CAF Champions League.
Matiza, who is the director of business development at TinMahn Sports, also left the game early to pursue a degree in business management.
He also holds a master’s degree in strategic management and corporate governance. He grew up in the ranks of CAPS United and left football at 20 to pursue an education. Its aim is to combine football knowledge and academics for greater effect.
The forum should be launched next month.