Zimbabwe Veterans bag silver at Inner-City World Cup
ZIMBABWE football legends based in the United Kingdom finished with a silver medal at the Inner-City World Cup Veterans Cup after losing a closely contested final to Iran at the weekend in London .
The Iranians emerged champions following a hard-fought 2-1 win, in what was dubbed the Sanctions Derby, after the two teams made the final.
The Zimbabwe Legends showcased their prowess by earning their place in the finals after defeating Peru 4-2 in a penalty shootout.
Their journey to the final was marked by immense determination as they played an astonishing six hours of football in a space of 48 hours. Despite their efforts, luck was not on their side on this particular day.
The Zimbabwe team featured newcomers such as Moore Moyo and former CAPS United midfielder Ashley Rambanepasi, who displayed exceptional performances, in the absence of several players due to injuries and work commitments.
Ex-CAPS United man Raymond Undi, Obey Murefu, Kenny Mutsanya and Ticha Mashumba were also outstanding in the semifinal against Peru. Former Dynamos goalkeeper Murefu saved two penalties in the shootout.
Team Zimbabwe-UK chief executive officer Marshall Gore hailed the team’s performance.
Well played to the Zimbabwe Legends, who exhibited tremendous sportsmanship throughout the tournament, and congratulations once again to our esteemed brothers from Iran for their well-deserved victory.
“Over the past four years, the Zimbabwe Legends have consistently reached the final, winning twice while also being runners-up on two occasions. Their remarkable track record speaks volumes about their skill and resilience,” he said.
The Iran team comprised eight seasoned former players who have previously represented their country in the World Cup. Their experience and expertise undoubtedly played a significant role in their success.
Meanwhile, Gore was part of the guests at the Veterans Clubs World Championship (VCWC) launch in London, representing Southern Africa.
The VCWC will be played in Rwanda next year. Football legends and veterans from around the world will converge in Rwanda for the Veterans Clubs World Championship. This event will involve two main activities, that is the tournament and football forums.
“I was honored to be one of the guests at the prestigious launch of the Veterans Clubs World Championship (VCWC) in London, representing Southern Africa.
“This remarkable event is set to take place in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2024 and is being hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the United Nations,” said Gore.
Among the distinguished attendees were Rwanda’s High Commissioner in the UK, HE Johnston Busingye, Fred Seiwe, VCWC Chair, and Louis Laurent Saha, a former professional French footballer who also serves as one of the ambassadors for the tournament.
“The presence of these notable individuals signifies the significance and global recognition of the VCWC. As an advocate for the tournament, I eagerly anticipate the participation of renowned football legends from Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
“Their inclusion in this continental veterans tournament will undoubtedly add to the excitement and competitiveness of the tournament, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration.
“I feel privileged to have been a part of the launch event and eagerly await the forthcoming Veterans Clubs World Championship in Kigali,” said Gore.