The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Football Association has written to the Sports and Recreation Commission requesting that the late former Dynamos as well as national team player David “Yogi” Mandigora be conferred with hero status.
In a statement released on Monday, Zifa confirmed that a request has gone to the Government, through the SRC for Mandigora to be declared a hero.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has written to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) requesting Government to confer hero status on the late football legend David ’Yogi’ Mandigora,’’ said Zifa.
Mandigora, the country’s first post-independence Soccer Star of the Year in 1980 played a massive part in the sport both as a player and later as a coach. As a coach, Mandigora will be remembered as the man who led Dynamos to their first championship in a decade in 2007. The following year, Mandigora guided the Glamour Boys to the 2008 Confederation of African Football Champions League semifinals where they were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Coton Sport of Cameroon.
“Mandigora had a huge impact on the face of local football, from the colonial days when the sport was used to challenge colonial rule. It was fitting that he was crowned as the soccer star in 1980 when the country attained independence. Yogi equally became a success story as a coach, leading his boyhood club Dynamos to league glory in 2007 and the Africa Champions League Semi-finals in 2008. He also played for the national team on various occasions and put the country on the football map,’’ further stated Zifa.
The football mother body believes that Mandigora’s evolution as a committed player into a successful coach exemplifies the life story of a conqueror.
“Mandigora’s transition from a devoted player into a successful coach epitomises the life story of a true hero for many young footballers and the generality of Zimbabweans. David served the sporting fraternity and the nation at large with distinction and it is our humble request that he be bestowed with the greatest honour of being declared a national hero,’’ concluded the Zifa statement.
The football legend died at his Harare home on Saturday at the age of 64. – @Mdawini_29