Zifa have honoured the late former Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo and captain Peter Ndlovu as the senior national team prepare to kickstart their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign in Rwanda.
Coach Baltemar Brito’s men will wear black armbands in their opening match against Rwanda and Nigeria to honour the passing of Gumbo, a former midfielder, assistant coach and substantive mentor of the team.
Gumbo died on Friday, November 10, 2023, in Francistown, Botswana after a suspected heart attack.
He was aged 59 and is expected to be buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on November 18, his birthday.
Nicknamed Rush, Gumbo was a football icon who is celebrated for his immense contribution to the country’s most followed sport.
He served the nation with distinction both as a player and a coach.
As a player he turned out for Eagles and Highlanders both in Bulawayo.
Gumbo achieved two back-to-back league titles with Highlanders as head coach from 1998 to 2000.
He became the first Zimbabwean coach to win a foreign league title when, under his tutelage, MTL Wanderers clinched the honours in 2006.
As accolades kept coming he also led Township Rollers to the championship in 2009 and remains the only Zimbabwean to win titles in three different countries.
Locally he coached Caps United, Motor Action, FC Platinum, Bulawayo Chiefs and TelOne Stars apart from Highlanders.
Gumbo is survived by his wife Virginia Gumbo and four children.
Meanwhile, Ndlovu – who is currently the Mamelodi Sundown’s team manager – was invited by Zifa to grace the Warriors double-header at Rwanda’s Huye Stadium in a strategy to inspire the players.
The former England-based forward has since arrived in the southern city of Butare to cheer up the boys.