Zimbabwe Soccer Loses Sponsorship To Golf

The sponsors, Delta Beverages, have shifted the Castle Cup to golf after withdrawing from football folowing endless disputes and wrangles that characterised the sport on a daily basis.

The wrangles have had an an effect on the name of the sponsor as the disputes also extended to the Castle Cup.

Football’s  loss, however, is golf’s gain as the country’s top golfers will now have the opportunity to battle over the prestigious trophy. According to the structure of the golf Castle Cup, the competition will be run along the same lines as the Road to Dubai contest in which golfers will participate in a series of tournaments over a period of 10 months.

The top 10 golfers from each competition willl accumulate points according to their positions. At the end of the season the golfer with the highest points will win the Castle Cup and the prize money that goes with it.

Shepherd Huni of Harry Alern Golf Club whose club will host some of the tournaments, said the monthly tournaments will be held on the last Sunday of every month.

Although there has been the Castle Tankard in horse racing, the Castle Cup has been restricted to football, and this will be the first time in 48 years of its existence that it will be contested for by another sport outside football.

The Castle Cup was introduced in 1962. At that time it was a competition for league title winners from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The format was changed in 1964 when the competition was made the premier knockout tournament for Zimbabwean teams. It later went on to grow to become the only tournament that brought together all clubs under the control of Zifa-from the social clubs to the Premiership.

In 1980 it became known as the Natbrew Zifa Cup only to retain its name of Castle Cup in 1986.

CAPS United Football Club won the tournament more times than any other team in Zimbabwean football. It won four times: in 1980 to 1983 and 1986 to 1989.