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Zimbabwean Football’s Cherished Dozen: The Enduring Significance of the Number 12

The number 12 holds a special place in Zimbabwean football, notably worn by the legendary Peter Ndlovu during his illustrious international career. Ndlovu, known as the Flying Elephant, left an indelible mark, scoring 37 goals in 81 appearances for Zimbabwe—a record yet to be surpassed.

Twelve years after his retirement, Ndlovu witnessed a significant moment in Rwandan football— the first Warriors goal post-FIFA suspension. Interestingly, it was Walter Musona, donning the number 12 shirt, who scored a remarkable free kick.

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There is a reflection on the significance of the number 12 in Zimbabwean football, it serves as a countdown—symbolizing the days left in 2023. This year brought hope with the lifting of Zimbabwe’s 18-month FIFA suspension, yet the appointment of the Normalisation Committee without thorough due diligence hindered progress.

While celebrating the country’s return to international football, the Normalisation Committee, led by Lincoln Mutasa, faced criticism for its lack of proficiency. Instances like the Botswana friendly debacle, where ZIFA announced a non-existent match, and the mishandling of sexual harassment allegations against Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi, have raised concerns about the NC’s competence.

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As Zimbabwean football enthusiasts hope for better days, the challenges faced under the Normalisation Committee underscore the need for a more strategic and capable administration.

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