English League Memories Linger For Dulibadzimu Visually Impaired Community

BY REX MPHISA
CURTAINS closed on the 2021/2022 soccer English Premiership League (EPL) so religiously followed in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe and world over with it’s high, low, happy and saddening moments.

It ended last Sunday with relegations, European places and even the destination of the title itself decided on the last day.

Many lost substantial amounts in betting, a sidestream of soccer that has gained momentum.

Unlike what a lot of people believe there is a reward for every position in the EPL.

However not every team has such an obvious prize to play for though.

For example, Leicester City vs Southampton looked like a bit of a dead rubber. Neither club can got relegated or qualified for Europe.

But it was not a dead rubber from a financial sense. In fact, there will be no dead rubbers on Sunday as far as Premier League owners are concerned.

That is because of the Premier League’s prize money structure, which sees payments increase by £2.2 million per place.

So, rising three places on the final day saw teams bank an extra £6.6m, which is nearly double the £3.4m Liverpool earned in prize money for winning the FA Cup.

The winners of the EPL received a trophy and £44m in prize money.

Around half of the EPL’s television revenue is distributed evenly between the 20 clubs, with each side receiving around £84m last season (2020/21).

Roughly a quarter is then used as Premier League prize money – officially referred to as merit payments.

The team that finished 20th took home £2.2m in merit payments, the team in 19th gets £4.4m and so on, up to the winner who receives £44m.

The rest of the TV revenue is divided up via a less straightforward method, but the teams that have been involved in more televised fixtures generally earn more.

But well, what does it matter in Dulibadzimu?

For the families of people living with visual disabilities the EPL left other memories when Dubai based Mufundisi Rue Ncube and Edward Kanyangu bet on the outcome of the the Machester United and Liverpool match.

Ncube and Kanyangu are both forner Border Strikers playmates who enjoyed their youthful days in Dulibadzimu Stadium, the border town’s Theatre of Dreams.

Kanyangu was to, at a later stage, own Tripple B, a soccer outfit that made a short stint in Zimbabwe’s premier soccer.

On the other hand Rue left for Dubai where he is based but has kept links with his home town soccer and social activities.

Each put R1000 on the table Kanyangu hoping his Red Devis would carry the day.

Rue triumphed when the hapless Cristiano Ronaldo side was thumped, routed.

But their bet instead smiled on the families of those living with visual disabilities.

“The winner then bought some basic groceries for 10 families of people living with visual disabilities and assigned myself to deliver the same,” manager of the fund Ridley Chigwinya said.

“The two have always kept in touch with the community with such bets that do not benefit them at any point but funds benefit charity,” said Chigwinya who handed over the goodies in the presence of the Beitbridge Eye.

“I don’t know who Liverpool or Manchester United are but we are happy if their games affect us so positively. We are grateful the supporters have selflessly remembered us. The teams should continue winning or losing to our benefit,” one visually challenged old woman said.

A prayer was said at the mini function to hand over the small groceries packages the small crowd gathered to collect.

“God reward the hands that remembered us and may their cups overflow,” the old woman said in gratitude.

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