PROPHET Walter Magaya has been handed the role of chief liaison officer of the Zimbabwe Legends team that will take on their Barcelona counterparts in a high-profile exhibition game at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. The football-mad prophet has turned into a pillar for the Association, provided ZIFA with assistance like camping facilities for the Warriors and Mighty Warriors at his five-star Yadah Hotel in the capital.
The Warriors, who are in Lesotho for an international friendly match tonight, are expected to check into the Yadah Hotel for their camp when they return home tomorrow ahead of another match against Namibia on Saturday. Magaya also runs a Premiership club, Yadah Stars, and has been helping with the coaching of the team which at the weekend picked a priceless victory in its battle to avoid relegation.
He says he believes he has the technical knowledge to coach any team in the domestic Premiership and says the Warriors are more important to him than Yadah Stars because his country will always come first. Magaya will be part of a technical team that will have Sunday Chidzambwa as the head coach while Rahman Gumbo will be the player/assistant coach with David Mandigora also coming in as an assistant coach.
Ernest ‘’Maphepha’’ Sibanda is the team manager. The match is being organised by ZIFA and the Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and is aimed at marketing Zimbabwe as a perfect tourist destination and to advance sports diplomacy.
“ZIFA would like to urge fans from across the country to support this initiative. Gate charges are $2 rest of ground, $10 Bay 15-18 and $50 for VVIP,’’ ZIFA spokesman Xolisani Gwesela said in a statement.
Former Warriors captains Peter Nldovu, Benjani Mwaruwari and Norman Mapeza will headline the squad. ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa said the Zimbabwe Legends should also be able to play matches in foreign countries rather than just hosting teams here.
“As Zimbabwe, we also want to have our own legends going outside the country to play in such matches and this is just a start for them. It’s good that they are playing the Barcelona Legends who already know a number of teams that are available out there whom our legends can also play. Remember Norman Mapeza recently went to his old club in Turkey to be honoured among some of the legends and we want to do the same here because our legends are a big part of whom we are today,’’ said Chiyangwa.
Already, some of the legends are expected to be honoured when ZIFA host their annual awards this year. Peter Ndlovu, Grobbelaar, Chunga and George Shaya are also in the running for the Greatest Zimbabwean Footballer of All-Time. Fans have been voting via a specific text message platform to choose who is the greatest of all time.
Zimbabwe Legends Squad
Goalkeepers: Brena Msiska,Muzondiwa Mugadza, Gift Muzadzi, Japhet Mparutsa.
Defenders: Ephraim Chawanda, Edelbert Dinha, Charles Yohane, Dumisani Mpofu, Dezzy Kapenya, Bekhithemba Ndlovu, Innocent Chikoya, Harlington Shereni, Thulani Biya Ncube, Norman Mapeza, Kaitano Tembo.
Midfielders: Calisto Pasuwa, Johannes Ngodzo, Kennedy Nagoli, Moses Chunga, Esrom Nyandoro,Tinashe Nengomasha, Joel Lupahla,Desmond Maringwa, Ronald Sibanda.
Strikers: Edward Sadomba, Agent Sawu, Zenzo Moyo, Benjani Mwaruwari, Peter Ndlovu, Madinda Ndlovu, William Mugeyi, Wilfred Mugeyi, Ian Gorowa.