THE late Warriors legend Adam “Adamski” Ndlovu’s jersey № 13 was once again worn by midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo in the 2-1 win over Mali in the African Nations Championships (Chan) quarter-finals on Saturday and that has not gone down well with some sections of football stakeholders in the country.
Following Adamski’s tragic death in a horrific traffic accident in December 2012, Zifa — through chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze — announced that no Warriors player would wear that jersey as it had been retired in honour of Ndlovu.
However, jersey № 13 was used by Khama Billiat in a friendly match against South Africa in September last year at Orlando Stadium in a match the Warriors won 2-1.
Zimbabwe Soccer Supporters’ Association vice-president Eddie Chivero said it was embarrassing for the Warriors to continue using that jersey when it was retired in honour of the late Adamski.
“When you say you have retired a jersey in honour of a player it should not be used. It was not the Ndlovu family who requested that the jersey be retired. The Ndlovu family deserves an apology from Zifa. Why is that jersey being used? It is the second time now and it is very embarrassing for us as supporters of the Warriors to see that jersey being used,” Chivero said.
Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday referred questions to the Warriors manager Sharif Mussa, who is in South Africa with the Warriors.
Mussa said they engaged Caf on the jersey, but were told that according to the Chan competition rules, the number 13 had to be registered.
“Everything is in order and was above board. When you register for the competition there are rules that have to be followed. You can retire certain numbers in honour of players, but when it comes to the competition you have to register the number. We engaged Caf and all the relevant stakeholders. It was not an easy process. The rules apply to everyone,” Mussa said. But Chivero would still have none of it saying Zifa owed the Ndlovu family and the nation an explanation and an apology.
“We understand that the rules may require the number be registered and it can be registered, but it is not mandatory that the jersey be used. It is quite embarrassing. Cameroon retired Vivien Foe’s jersey number 17 since he died and it has never been used,” he said.
Marc Vivien Foe collapsed and died during an international match for his country against Colombia in 2003.