Musanhu relives ‘98 pain, betrayal by DeMbare executive IN GOOD COMPANY . . . Former Dynamos defence stalwart Chamu Musanhu (right) was over the moon yesterday after meeting with the club’s fellow legend Moses “Bambo’’ Chunga in Harare where they discussed a number of issues affecting the Premiership football giants

Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter

CHAMU Musanhu maintains Dynamos could have turned the corner 24 years ago.

Back in 1998, the Glamour Boys, who were under the guidance of legendary coach Sunday ‘’Mhofu’’ Chidzambwa, came within 90 minutes of conquering Africa when they fell 4-2 in controversial circumstances to Ivorian giants Asec Mimosas in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final.

The first leg had ended goalless at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.

And after capturing the imagination of the world, the Glamour Boys, boasting top talent including Musanhu, Lenny Gwata, Desmond ‘’Gazza” Maringwa, Ernest ‘’Dhara’’ Chirambadare, Makwinji Soma-Phiri and captain Memory Mucherahowa lined-up against Asec Mimosas in the Ivorian capital Abidjan.

A lot was expected from Dynamos but not after their skipper and leader Mucherahowa was forced off following a head-butt in the tunnel just before kick-off.

At the end of the pulsating encounter, Dynamos could only get silver medals but they had announced their entry into the top echelons of the game in this continent.

That was the time everything should have changed at Dynamos, according to Musanhu, who was one of the most gallant players in that crop.

“That was supposed to be the turning point in the history of Dynamos. But, instead of going forward, the club actually moved several steps backwards,” said Musanhu.

Why?

“I am not apologetic about this. I think the executive which was there during that time should rate as the most corrupt in the history of the club.

“Players were promised heaven on earth. There were a lot of false promises. I think that executive messed everything up for the Glamour Boys.

“Imagine, we were made to travel to Malawi by road. We were made to sleep at the airport back in those days when the campaign was still in its infancy.

“It was hell all over. But with results coming, everything started to change for the better. We were actually promised houses in the event we reached the final.”

But, the houses never came.

At the sound of the final whistle in Abidjan, the players were accused of having sold the game.

“Surprisingly, after putting our heads on the block in defence of not only the Dynamos badge but the country’s flag, we were accused of match-fixing,” Musanhu said.

Match-fixing?

“Yes, indeed, match-fixing. The executive accused us of having cheaply given out the game to the Ivorians.

“We couldn’t believe our ears as players. That was something disrespectful, especially for us having defended our badge with our skin.

“Five or six of the players were implicated and they were fined close to US$20 000. That dampened everything. It was hell on earth. We couldn’t get the promised houses. Instead of being celebrated as heroes, we were treated like villains.

‘’That chapter is regrettable. That was the time Dynamos was supposed to use to turn around its name, start to be run as a business, those things, but that actually moved the team backwards, if anything.”

But, outside the controversy and ill-treatment, Musanhu believes that crop of players in 1998 was one of the best to play for the Glamour Boys.

“I think, in terms of passion and the will to play the game, that team takes the biscuit. But definitely it doesn’t mean they were the best in terms of talent to be at Dynamos. But, passion, mixed with a bit of talent can turn things around. That is what is lacking at Dynamos right now.”

Musanhu said factional wars at Dynamos started a long time ago but they don’t help the club in any way.

He said former players ought to respect the board which is chaired by majority shareholder Bernard Marriot-Lusengo, who is the only surviving founder member of the Harare giants.

Meanwhile, Musanhu, who is briefly back in the country from his base in the UK where he works as a player intermediary, has landed a top post at the Glamour Boys after he was appointed the team’s Diaspora Ambassador for the United Kingdom.

“Dynamos Football Club hereby confirm your appointment as the Club Diaspora Ambassador responsible for the United Kingdom.

“Your appointment, which is with immediate effect, will see you co-ordinating fan activations in the United Kingdom for our sponsors Sakunda Holdings and Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance,” read a letter written to him by club secretary general, Webster Marechera.

“One of your immediate tasks will be the 60th anniversary celebrations in the United Kingdom which celebrations will commence in January 2023.”

In the same vein, the Glamour Boys have elevated executive vice-chairman, Moses Maunganidze, to the post of chairman following the ouster of Isaiah Mupfurutsa this week.

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