FORMER Warriors star striker and captain Peter Ndlovu has implored local football authorities to build a statue at Rufaro Stadium in honour of Sunday Chidzambwa, who recently announced retirement from coaching.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Chidzambwa is Zimbabwe’s most decorated coach, having led the Warriors to their first Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in 2004 and most recently in 2019.
The other coaches who helped the Warriors reach Africa’s tournament of pride were Charles Mhlauri in 2006 and Kalisto Pasuwa in 2017.
However it is Chidzambwa’s contributions to the local game, in particular to the senior national team that captivated Ndlovu, one of Zimbabwe’s finest players, who excelled under the leadership of the 67-year-old gaffer.
Ndlovu told NewsDay Sport in an interview that it will be a shame if authorities fail to honour Chidzambwa.
“I became what I am because of that man (Chidzambwa) made me believe that I can do it,” the former English Premier League star said.
“I respect him and everyone respects you for being the one coach to have achieved big for this country in football circles, but he still remained down to earth.
“At his age, I respect that he has always listened to advice from players coming off age to better himself and that’s why he is the best coach because he listened.
“At least he must be honoured with a statue at Rufaro Stadium and it would be a shame for his legacy to go down the drain. We will have people to lobby for that, but we must by all means try and celebrate our own legends while they are still alive.”
Another former warriors’ striker Lazarus Muhoni, who had success with the national team under Chidzambga echoed Ndlovu’s sentiments.
“He is a great man and he deserves to be honoured and given the ambassador role in our football, so am appealing to the Sports ministry to help us honour this man while he is still alive,” said Muhoni.
Apart from leading the Warriors to the Afcon finals, Chidzambwa will be remembered for making Zimbabwe a southern region powerhouse, having masterminded four Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) cup titles for the country.
He also led the historic Dynamos squad that reached the Confederation of African FootballChampions League finals in 1998, but agonisingly lost to Asec Mimosa of Ivory Coast.
During his playing days he became the first Zimbabwe captain after independence.
He also won titles as a player at Dynamos. At the last Afcon finals, he had a forgetable experience after presiding over a team that only managed a single point with so much having been expected of them prior to the tournament.