HARARE – Zimbabwe could rekindle their rivalry with former African champions after they were invited by the Zambian Football Federation to participate in the country’s 20th anniversary of the Gabon air crash.
Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze revealed this yesterday during the commissioning of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) Golden Jubilee Organising Committee.
“Zambia has extended invitational to Zimbabwe for their 10th anniversary of the Gabon air crash that killed one of the most enterprising teams of their generation. The match is set for April 28 and the association will consider the invite,” Mashingaidze said.
With Zimbabwe celebrating 50 years of organised football, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube commissioned a team of 13 individuals who include former footballers, business people, sports administrators, artists, among others, who have been tasked with spearheading celebrations of the federation’s Golden Jubilee.
Several groups who include players, coaches, referees, administrators, corporate partners, national teams, clubs, media and fans will receive the Golden Jubilee Awards on a date to be announced in due course.
The committee is chaired by late vice-president John Nkomo’s son Jabulani. The other members are Miriam Sibanda, Albert Nyathi, Douglas Chitongo, Martha Madziyauswa, Russell Mhiribidi, Lovemore Sibanda, Tonderai Marime, Herbert Takawira, Marvellous Mapininga, Lovemore Banda, Ishmael Chibvunye and Nyarai Pasi.
Dube said the Golden Jubilee celebrations should unlock the value for local football.
“Zimbabwean football has never had a fair valuation and hence the challenges we encounter when we engage corporate partners. We need to have a thorough valuation of our products and services to date as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations,” Dube said.
“The celebrations shall see the family of football recreating value for our game and reducing all that we have had over the past 50 years and beyond into indelible historical records.
“The celebrations shall afford football to engage in small to big scale projects being rolled out. The projects in question shall range from celebrity concepts, production of powerful documentary on Zimbabwean football, production of memorabilia and souvenir material, mount expositions, establishing Hall of Fame etc”
Dube added that plans are underway for the establishment of a Hall of Fame at the newly constructed Zifa Village.
Mashingaidze revealed the celebrations are already in motion and they will mark the official start at this month’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, where they will exhibit. – Godknows Matarutse