Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
ZIFA have organised a friendly match between the Warriors and neighbours Zambia next month to celebrate the appointment of the new President Emmerson Mnangangwa, who was inaugurated on Friday.
The match will be played a day after the Unity Day at the National Sports Stadium.
The “special match” has added another sweetener with the Zimbabweans Legends set to be the curtain raisers against the South African Legends before the Warriors take on Chipolopolo in the main game of the day.
Zifa, who are “super excited” by the ascendancy of the former Vice President, have always enjoyed great support from President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa early this year facilitated for the Government to release a financial package of $1 million for the Warriors to use during the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa has since congratulated President Mnangangwa and said through football they will match the President’s mantra of job creation.
And Chiyangwa, who was in South Africa over the weekend, wasted no time arranging the friendly match against Zambia as well as confirming the coming of the South African Legends here for a showdown against the Zimbabwean Legends.
In a statement released by the association yesterday, the Zifa president said they acknowledge the role played by President Mnangangwa in uniting people.
“As the custodians of the nation’s most popular sport code, Zifa duly appreciates the sincere call by His Excellency for every citizen regardless of political orientation, tribe, gender, colour or creed to positively contribute towards the building of our nation.
“Sport in general and football in particular is a proven catalyst for unity, peace and social cohesion.
“We are confident that the new start that the nation has been granted in the hands of His Excellency Cde Mnangagwa will lead not only to the revival but flourishing success of sport,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, Warriors coach for the Cecafa-bound team, Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa, has announced a strong 29-member squad that is expected to go into camp tomorrow.
The squad will be trimmed to 20 on the eve of departure to Nairobi, Kenya, this coming weekend.
Ngezi Platinum headlines the list with six players making it into the squad while newly-crowned Premiership champions FC Platinum have four.
The Warriors have been invited as a guest nation for the East African tournament which begins on Sunday and will run until December 17.
Chidzambwa will once again be assisted by Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa and goalkeepers’ coach Brenna Msiska. Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo comes in as the other assistant coach.
Mutasa and Msiska assisted the veteran gaffer at the Cosafa tournament together with Bongani Mafu, who is currently attached in the Botswana league.
Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya (Ngezi Platinum), Elvis Chipezeze (Chicken Inn), Herbert Rusawo (Black Rhinos).
Defenders: Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn), Praise Tonha (How Mine), Qadr Amini, Partson Jaure (Ngezi Platinum), Farai Madhananga (Harare City), Peter Muduviwa (Highlanders), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah), Collen Kwaramba (Chapungu), Kelvin Moyo (FC Platinum), Stephen Makatuka (CAPS United).
Midfielders: Devon Chafa (CAPS United), Gerald Takwara (FC Platinum), Never Tigere (ZPC Kariba), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum), Rodwell Chinyegetere (FC Platinum), Ishmael Wadi (Bulawayo City), Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos), Ali Sadiki (FC Platinum), Clement Matawu (Chicken Inn), Martin Vengesayi (Harare City).
Strikers: Dominic Chungwa (CAPS United), Clive Augusto (Ngezi Platinum), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Ngezi Platinum), Donald Ngoma (unattached).
Technical Department: Sunday Chidzambwa (coach), Rahman Gumbo (assistant coach), Lloyd Mutasa (assistant coach), Brenna Msisika (goalkeepers’ coach), Patrick Mutesva (team manager), Shakespeare Chinogwenya (kit assistant), Somani Mudariki (doctor), Thompson Matenda (fitness trainer).