The Zimbabwe Netball Association (Zina) has been left in a fix after one of their sponsors withdrew their support for the national team which is currently in Pretoria, South Africa for the ongoing SPAR Diamond Challenge.
After losing their opening two matches against the SA Presidents XI and African champions South Africa, the Gems are set to finish their campaign against Scotland on Friday.
However, the build-up to the final game has been overshadowed by the sponsorship withdrawal by one of the corporates following an alleged misunderstanding with the long-serving Zina president Leticia Chipandu.
The impasse has left the Gems stranded in South Africa without any funds. Well-placed sources told ZimSportLive that the HPC Hotel, where the Gems are staying has since confiscated their passports for none payment of bills.
HPC Hotel is situated at the University of Pretoria.
Chipandu told ZimSportLive said that reports that there has been a misunderstanding between her and the sponsors are false.
“That’s so untrue. We are staying at the University of Pretoria. There is no misunderstanding between me and the sponsor as we are dealing with Reesport Sport Consultancy, so I would (not) have (a) misunderstanding with the sponsor as we are not dealing directly with the sponsor,” she said.
Despite Chipandu’s denials, ZimSportLive has it on good authority that the Gems’ players were confiscated after Zina’s failure to settle the hotel bill in South Africa after one of the sponsors, Zim Energy, withdrew its sponsorship for the team.