IT’S our best choice!
Zifa has been criticised from all fronts on the choice of “Zimbabwe legends” that are set to play against FC Barcelona greats in Harare on Sunday.
Many in football circles feel Zifa made a huge mistake in leaving out some players who made history in Warriors colours. But the association insists it used the best criteria and not all those on the provisional squad will feature.
“We used our discretion. This is a provisional squad after all. People must understand that in as much as there are other Zimbabwe Legends, not every player worth their salt can make it to the squad,” said Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela.
The majority of complaints came from players mostly left out. Former Warriors midfielder Cephas Chimedza dismissed the list and instead, came up with his own that had names such as, Energy Murambadoro, George Mbwando, James Matola, Alois Bunjira, Zvenyika Makonese, Honour Gombami, Vitalis Takawira, David Sengu, Brain Badza and Stuart Murisa.
Interestingly, one player included in the list is Ephraim “Rocky” Chawanda, a five star general in defence during the original Dream Team. However, he snubbed the call-up citing unprofessional conduct from Zifa who didn’t care to inform him.
“For those who put my name on such a list without consulting me, for lack of better words, PLEASE GO TO HELL, I cannot be part of disorganisation or a circus that disrespects former footballers,” he wrote on his facebook wall.
Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu did not like that old school footballers from the 70s and 80s are not part of the cast.
“How come some of the boys we coached are not there on the list? It’s unfortunate that some living legends that include Douglas Mloyi, Barry Daka, Gibson Homela and Lawrence Phiri did not make it into the list. The organisers are doing something wrong. We are the fathers of these boys whom they regard as legends. Then who is supposed to be called a legend?” he said.
Despite complaints from here and there, the game will go on and uncontested stalwarts such as Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari will lead from the front. Hence Zifa pleads with the public to make it a success.
“This match against Barcelona Legends is meant to market Zimbabwe and promote the country as a safe destination for sports tourism. We have to be positive and support the initiative,” said Gwesela.
The Zimbabwe Legends will be under the guidance of Sunday Chidzambwa, Rahman Gumbo and David Mandigora.
The team manager will be Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda while Prophet Walter Magaya assumes the position of chief liaison officer.
Meanwhile, Zifa has pegged the gate charges for the match. One VIP ticket will be sold at $10 while a place at the terraces will cost $2; tickets will only be sold on match-day ahead of the 3pm kick-off on Sunday. The VVIP tickets will cost $50 each.