Ambassador Cho Jaichel
AS a football fan, I am waiting for this coming June with great expectations. I would like to see again the winning moments of the Zimbabwean Warriors. I want to feel again the energy and enthusiasm of real footballers.
My first encounter with the Zimbabwe Warriors was (during) the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying match between Zimbabwe and Liberia on July 11 last year.
At that time, I was at the National Sports Stadium in Harare with Zimbabwean football fans.
The Zimbabwe Warriors showed me everything I had wanted to see in the football match.
One of the reasons why I am very much into football is that I can see pure passion, which we are losing in the mechanised modern civilisation.
The Warriors’ pure enthusiasm for football was very touching.
All players were united together to play as one team.
Knowledge Musona was perfect in his debut game as captain.
Not only did he lead the united Warriors into one team, but also, he alone scored all the three goals of the match.
Whenever I mention about what the real role of the captain is, I will easily recall Knowledge Musona as the best model.
Musona’s brilliant performance during that match reminded me of Steven Gerrard when he, as captain, led Liverpool to victory in the final match of the UEFA Champions League against AC Milan in Istanbul, May 2005.
With Musona as the captain, all the Zimbabwean players displayed their fighting spirit to the last minute, proving that they are one of the strongest team on the African continent.
Soon, after, I witnessed the Zimbabwe Warriors’ victory against Liberia, I was able to enjoy the 2017 COSAFA Cup.
Watching the games on TV, I felt like I was playing football in the stadium as one of the Zimbabwe Warriors because of the vivid passion they showed: cohesiveness and concentration to the last minute, strong and enduring spirit to win, just to name a few.
I still remember the final game on the 9th of July.
Despite their physical challenges and fatigue from the tight schedule, they became stronger as time went by.
I still remember the way they created the beautiful second goal by Talent Chawapiwa.
I sincerely congratulated the Zimbabwean people on their winning of COSAFA CUP for the fifth time.
The reason why I am recalling these moments is that I would like again to see the good football by the Warriors.
I am indeed glad and honoured to see again the Zimbabwe Warriors captained by Musona.
Ironically, RSC Anderlecht, which he recently joined, is familiar with Korean football fans because Korean footballer Seol Kihyun played there for three years from 2001 to 2004.
During that period, Seol was called to the Korea’s national football team and contributed to the Korean team’s advancement to the semi-finals in the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup.
As a football fan, another expectation for this coming June is the 2018 World Cup in which the Korean team will take part for the ninth consecutive time.
Like the way I support the Zimbabwean national football team, I believe that some of the Zimbabwean football fans will support the Korean football team. Since there has not been a match between Korea and Zimbabwe yet, I really would like to see a football match between our two countries in the future.
I hope one day football players from Zimbabwe will play in the K-league (Korea Professional Football League).
I also hope to see the Korean team and the Zimbabwe Warriors playing in the 2022 World Cup together.
I want to see the friendship between our two peoples strengthened through football.
I am already thrilled to think about the Zimbabwe Warriors gathering from around the world, including Belgium, Egypt, Czech, Germany and South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania and the UK, sharing the joy of reunion, strengthening their determination to win with pride as a national team and doing their best again.
So, I do believe that the Zimbabwe Warriors with their experienced coach Sunday Chidzambwa, will show their brilliance once again during the 2018 COSAFA Cup.
I hope that there will be no Zimbabwean football fan who wonders why I, as a foreigner, am so earnestly cheering the Warriors.
The answer is clear.
Football is playing the role of a bridge, which connects the world.
Football is a language which removes barriers between countries and continents and binds together people from all around the world.
We are living in a global village.
If I had stayed three more months in Stockholm, Sweden, I must have watched Tinotenda Kadewere who has been playing for Djurgardens IF since August 2015.
In the national stadium here, I feel again that people around me are friends.
Furthermore, as a person who has already visited Great Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, Nyanga and many other beautiful places, and as a person who has met a few good friends, including (local sungura music maestro) Alick Macheso, I have no choice but to support the Warriors who are doing their best.
Again, good luck to the Zimbabwe Warriors in their quest to clinch the COSAFA Cup for the sixth time, as well as the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Mr Cho Jaichel is the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Zimbabwe