Sexual abuse allegations rile Norman Mapeza.

By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza nearly broke down last week in front of his players as his family called on him to walk away from the game that has given him fame and fortune in the wake of wild allegations about his sexual orientation.
Norman Mapeza
Mapeza had a blissful start at FC Platinum having joined in August last season, winning the country’s premier knockout tournament — the Chibuku Super Cup and earning a top four finish in the league.

However, a 1-5 mauling away to Tanzania’s Young Africans in the CAF Confederation Cup coupled with the failure to record a win in his first two league matches against Dongo Sawmill and Caps United saw pressure piling on the charismatic coach.

There were reports that FC Platinum were contemplating firing him. Mapeza also had an ugly spat with veteran journalist Paul Saul Mundandi.

However, a post on the Facebook page Shabanie Mine DotComs alleging that Mapeza was a homosexual who was in the habit of abusing his players proved too much for the gaffer and his family.

Mapeza’s family members and friends called on him to walk away from the game and move to the United Kingdom where most of them are domiciled.

Amid the pressure, Mapeza poured his heart out to the FC Platinum players during their build-up to last weekend’s return tie against Young Africans.

A source within the Pure Platinum Play dressing room says the former Warriors skipper was left distressed by the allegations.

“He was really affected by the negative publicity he has been subjected to, especially what was written about him on Facebook. He told us that his father and family had called and asked him to quit football if this was how he will be rewarded for all his hard work,” said the source who declined to be named.

“Mapeza said he owed his continued stay in football to his strong wife who is urging him to take the allegations in his stride and move on.

“He showed us some scars he got, including one under his right eye, in defence of the Warriors shirt saying having toiled selflessly, he never expected to be treated as a ‘nobody.’

“He also spoke of his disappointment to how we have started the season but urged the team to be strong and focus on the long season ahead.”

Reported rising impatience within the miners’ executive has been pushed through the window as the club has come out solidly behind Mapeza.

Club spokesperson Chido Chizondo said the club was not moved by the allegations.

“We believe in our coach and his capacity and we know it will be an exciting season. Character assassination on social media is distasteful and the club will not pay attention to issues that arise from these pages,” she said.

Mapeza refused to be drawn into commenting about the allegations saying, “I would rather not talk about that issue, honestly these are difficult times for me but I know there is God up there and He will fight for me.” The Sunday Mail

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