Centre Sports Reporter
THE Masvingo football fraternity was this week thrown into mourning following the passing on of close family members of footballers, coaches and administrators.
Stakeholders from the local football community described this week as melancholy amid the announcement of the death of former Masvingo United and Warriors vice-Captain Ovidy Karuru’s mother, Amai Elizabeth Hove Karuru on Monday.
Amai Karuru was declared a provincial liberation war heroine and was laid to rest at the Masvingo Provincial Heroes Acre with full military honour.
Barely three days later, tragedy struck the fraternity again as Masvingo United FC spokesperson, Advocate Omen Mafa, lost his mother who collapsed and was was pronounced dead upon arrival at Masvingo Provincial Hospital.
Amai Mafa is expected to be laid to rest on Sunday at Masvingise village in Gutu.
Death also robbed former Masvingo United midfielder, Billiat Muchenje’s aunt in Gokwe where she was laid to rest on Thursday.
Tributes from all corners of the province and national football fraternity at large poured to the three families expressing shock and despair over the loss of the loved ones.Masvingo Footballers Trust (Maft) chairperson, Clayton Shereni said it was a badweek for the football community.
‘’This was really a dejection week for the football family here, our colleagues lost their beloved ones and we have been mourning the whole week, we are with our beloved brothers in prayers, God will surely heal their souls,”Shereni said.
In a good gesture of paying tribute to Advocate Mafa, Una Una’s local rivals and D1 debutants, FC Wangu Mazodze, cancelled a friendly match that was penciled for Mucheke stadium on Saturday.
Zhalala Zhululu as the new boys are affectionately known were scheduled to play Mutare based army side, Buffaloes.
In a statement, FC Wangu Mazodze spokesperson, Sukuoluhle Ndlovu said they had cancelled the match to join the Mafa family and the rest of Masvingo football lovers to mourn the mother of a great football administrator.
“On behalf of FC Wangu Mazodze, we would like to inform you the cancelation of our friendly match against Buffaloes. Reason being one of our own, Masvingo United spokesperson, Adv Omen Mafa lost his mother,” reads the statement. Football lovers in Masvingo said this gloomy week will never be easy to forget following the loss incurred.
Meanwhile, Northern Region D1 side, Simba Bhora FC also lost midfielder Barnabas Mushunje in a road traffic accident.
Mushunje’s death came as a shock as he was beginning to have a blossoming career after joining the Northern Region giants.