NYASHA MUSHEKWI paid US$138 000 to his Warriors teammates in a bold attempt to inspire them to keep their 2019 AFCON finals campaign alive.
The carrot was dangled ahead of the final Group A match against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Had the Warriors, who had drawn 1-1 against Uganda in their last match, won that match, they would have made it to the knockout stages, for the first time, in their history.
Mushekwi’s offer, and subsequent donation, came when there was bedlam in their camp.
The China-based forward, who was the most experienced player in the Zimbabwean squad, had already indicated he was retiring from international duty after the tournament.
But, he didn’t want to go out without a bang.
His offer to his teammates, to try and win tomorrow’s game, was meant to ensure he would go out having made a piece of history.
His carrot also came at a time the Warriors team management were forced to shelve their initial decision to send Tino Kadewere and Tafadzwa Kutinyu home.
The two had an altercation in camp but showed a lot of remorse and asked for forgiveness.
The same reprieve was handed to midfielder, Kuda Mahachi, who also appeared on the way home for questioning the decisions of the coaches on social media.
But, all eyes were on Mushekwi.
‘‘Nyasha has offered an incentive, which he will pay to each of us, should we win the match against DRC in what has been a positive development and indication of how the mood has changed in camp,’’ sources said.
‘‘He had a meeting with coach Sunday Chidzambwa and the other technical staff members where the gaffer reminded him that he was the most experienced player in the squad and should be seen to be helping the younger members of our team, who are rising through the ranks, and could use this tournament to get some good deals.”
The Warriors conceded four goals as they lost their final game against the Congolese.
The expectation has always been that the players did not get the incentive, they were offered to try and win that match, given they lost the game horribly.
However, Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare, revealed on Wednesday night that Mushekwi decided to pay his teammates what he had promised them, despite the loss.
Mpandare, speaking on the ZTV weekly football magazine programme ‘Game Plan’, which is hosted by Charles “CNN” Mabika, said the gangly forward paid a total of US$138 000 to his teammates. Every player was paid US$6 000.
Mabika said it was a gesture which should be commended by the domestic football family.
“We really need to appreciate people like Nyasha Mushekwi, who have so much love for this country, well done Shaquie,” said Mabika.