17 February 2013

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Bafana to Play Warriors in Independence Celebrations

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has invited South Africa's Bafana Bafana to play the Warriors to mark this year's Independence Day celebrations.

The match, which will be played on April 18, is also part of the association's Golden Jubilee.

The association's chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said they had decided to bring an international team because the Independence Day celebrations coincides with the association's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

While Zimbabwe will be celebrating 33 years of Independence from colonial rule, Zifa will be celebrating 50 years of existence since its formation in 1963.

The association was formed on May 17 1963 as Rhodesia National Football Association (RNFL), but became a full affiliate of Fifa in 1965 and Zimbabwe Football Association in 1980.

Mashingaidze said besides playing South Africa, Zifa also wanted to invite reigning Africa champions, Nigeria, a South American country or a European country for the actual Golden Jubilee Celebrations which will be held in July.

"This year's Independence Day celebrations will be special in the sense that Zifa will be celebrating 50 years of existence. Unlike in the previous years where our Premiership clubs participated in the Independence Trophy, we will invite a foreign team which will play our Warriors. South Africa is one country that we have invited," he said.

Mashingaidze said the celebrations would start at the end of this month with short message services (sms) campaigns to let fans vote for the players they wanted nominated into the Hall of Fame.

"We have lined up a number of activities in the build-up to the actual Golden Jubilee celebrations that will be held in July. That is when we will award all those that will have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"The committee that will be responsible for running these celebrations will be commissioned next week. The celebrations will be held both locally and in the Diaspora, as we want every Zimbabwean to celebrate with Zifa," he said.

Mashingaidze said the celebrations would start with concerts to raise funds for the main event.

"We have already identified the site for the museum. We will also role out our merchandise which we have used since 1963. The Conference Centre will also be opened in March," he said.

Mashingaidze also said besides honouring players, they were also going to decorate teams that have played a role in carrying forward the association's name.

"We will also reflect on the formation of teams such as Zimbabwe Saints, Highlanders, Dynamos, Hwange and CAPS United," he said.

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