Chidzambwa: Fall of the ultimate hero

HARARE - Before being banned for life last week by Zifa for his part in the Asiagate scandal, Sunday Chidzambwa was the “high priest” of Zimbabwean football.

But his sudden and abrupt fall from the lofty apex of Zimbabwe’s football has left his followers, who used to worship the “holy” ground he walked on, shell-shocked.

No Zimbabwean football personality has achieved more than the legendary Chidzambwa both as a player and in the coaching dugout.

As a tough-as-teak defender during his playing days, Chidzambwa captained Dynamos to five league titles before coaching DeMbare to seven championships in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

But the pinnacle of his career in the Glamour Boys dugout was leading the popular Harare club to the final of the Confederation of African Football Champions League in 1998.

His glory-laden Curriculum Vitae also includes the proud distinction of leading Zimbabwe to their maiden African Nations Cup finals and also coaching the Warriors to two of their four Cosafa titles.

Football followers in Zimbabwe and in South Africa, where he is coach of Black Leopards have been left wondering how a man so glorified, has soiled his reputation for the match-fixers’ penny.

The most decorated coach in Zimbabwean football history must be regretting ensnaring hundreds of footballers, fellow coaches and officials who possibly agreed to fix matches because of his involvement.

It is ironic that Sunday should be banned in a week in which disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of seven drug-assisted Tour de France wins.

Is this end of Zimbabwe’s ultimate football legend or will Chidzambwa somehow reinvent himself and win respect, perhaps in another sphere of life?

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