The Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) run by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) have ignited controversy after the judges’ panel disqualified Zimbabwe rowing coach Kristen Johnson on the alleged basis that she is a foreign national.
Johnson was replaced by Zimbabwe national football team coach Sunday Chidzambga who will now battle it out against Sevens Rubgy’s Gilbert Nyamutsamba and Netball national team’s Lloyd Makunde for the 2018 Coach of the Year accolade.
“She cannot be part of the three because she is South African. So the other best coach that was around was Sunday Chidzambga,” ANSA judges’ panel vice chairman Witness Mugulula said.
Mugulula was at pains to shed light on the decision to arrive at Chidzambga and if at all their decision on Johnson is to be believed why they did not select only two nominees for the Coach of the Year category.
He, however, expressed delight in that multiple national sports associations submitted nominees for the judges panel to adjudicate over.
“Individual categories were oversubscribed and we hope the Zimbabwe environment improves so that Zimbabweans produce their best,” he said, adding: “The problem we are getting is national sports association who sometimes fail to give nominations to the judges.”
The winners are set to be announced in February. The ANSA winners’ ceremony for each year is usually held in December of each year. However, last year the ceremony was postponed due to monetary and logistical constraints.