The president of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad, has expressed shock over the untimely death of veteran Zimbabwean football administrator Chris Sambo.
Sambo, the former chief executive of the Premier Soccer League, died at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Wednesday, five days after celebrating his 69th birthday. He was buried at Greendale Cemetery in Harare on Saturday morning.
And at the weekend, the CAF president mourned the sudden passing away of Sambo, who apart from being the former CEO of the local Premier Soccer League, helped in running the affairs of the now-defunct Premiership sides Blackpool and Motor Action.
In his condolence letters sent to ZIFA president Felton Kamambo, and to the association's former boss, Phillip Chiyangwa, Ahmad said he was deeply saddened to learn about Sambo's untimely death.
Ahmad described Sambo as one of the most dedicated people in the African football industry.
"I was deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Mr Chris Sambo, former chief executive officer of the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Mr Sambo was one of the dedicated persons in the football industry.
"I wish to convey, on my behalf and on that of the African Football Confederation, our heartfelt condolences to his family.
"In these mournful circumstances, we share with you our most sincere sympathies and support.
"Reiterating my deepest condolences, please accept, Mr President, the expression of my highest consideration and personal esteem," said Ahmad in his condolence message sent to Kamambo on Saturday.
Ahmad also sent the same condolence message to former ZIFA president Chiyangwa.
According to Sambo's Lifelong Footballers Trust colleague, Francis Zimunya, the former Blackpool chief executive passed away at a time he was busy working on bringing to life a multipurpose football complex in Harare and had brought in investors to fund the project.
Born on July 24, 1951, the late Sambo did his secondary education at Harare High School in Mbare and rose into prominence in the late 1990s when he was appointed the chief executive of the Premier Soccer League after having had a stint as the secretary of former Premiership side Blackpool, a colourful side which was run by a number of Harare-based businessmen who included the likes of Ronnie Chihota, the late Joe Salifu, Joe "Pajero" Musenda, Ginger Chinguwa, Lecture Mupangi (late) and Forbes Chitava.
Blackpool were under the guidance of the late local football greats Joel "Jubilee" Shambo and Shacky "Mr Goals" Tauro; and they wrote their own piece of history when they reached the semi-finals of the CAF Cup of Cup Winners Cup (now Confederation Cup) in 1994.
And when Blackpool folded up and sold their Premiership franchise to the late Joe Rosen, Sambo moved over to become one of Motor Action's prominent members, running the club with his close friend Simeon Jamanda.
He was also briefly involved in running a football league for women living with HIV in Epworth and was a consultant for the Five-a-Side Soccer League under the late Joseph Mabhonzo.