ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has blasted exiled pastor Evans Mawarire for calling on fans to sing the old national anthem in the 36th minute of yesterday’s Castle Lager Premiership match between Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium.
The Zifa boss also thanked Bulawayo football fans for not heeding Mawarire’s call.
Mawarire, who is now based in the United States of America, had sent messages via social media calling on supporters to stand up in the 36th minute and sing the old Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica national anthem.
“Football and politics do not mix and I want to warn Mawarire and his cabal to stay away from football. I came to Bulawayo to see for myself if football had succumbed to these malcontents, but I am happy that people ignored these nonsensical calls,” said Chiyangwa, who was part of the bumper crowd that thronged Barbourfields Stadium yesterday for domestic football’s biggest fixture.
Chiyangwa said it was sad that Mawarire wanted to use football to pursue his own political ambitions.
“He is now based in the US after causing mayhem in this country. What kind of a man is this? He must know that football will not welcome him. I am Zanu-PF myself, but I never come to the stadium clad in party colours simply because I respect the game. If I want to do my political business, I go out there; I don’t take advantage of the pulling power of football. Mawarire leave our beautiful game in peace; we don’t want this nonsense,” Chiyangwa said.
He said Zimbabwean football would never succumb to #this flag mantra and appealed to football fans to shun being used by selfish people like Mawarire.