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The Matabeleland football team is the team representing Matabeleland, the western part of Zimbabwe. They are not affiliated with FIFA or CAF, and therefore cannot compete for the FIFA World Cup or the Africa Cup of Nations.[1][2][3] The Team is affiliated to the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA).

Matabeleland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Ingqungqulu
AssociationMatabeleland Football Confederacy
ConfederationConIFA
Head coachVacant
CaptainPraise Ndlovu
Most capsKhulekani Maziwa
Oscar George (24)
Top scorerSawusani Mudimba
Mduduzi Mpofu (13)
Home stadiumVarious Stadiums
First colours
First international
 Padania 6–1 Matabeleland Matabeleland
(Sutton, United Kingdom; 31 May 2018)
Biggest win
 Tuvalu 1–3 Matabeleland Matabeleland
(Haringey, United Kingdom; 3 June 2018)
Biggest defeat
 Padania 6–1 Matabeleland Matabeleland
(Sutton, United Kingdom; 31 May 2018)
ConIFA World Football Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2018)
Best result13th, 2018

≥==History==

The Team is run by Matabeleland Football Confederacy which is itself administered by the Save Matabeleland Coalition.[4] Matabeleland Football Confederacy is an Independent Football Association promoting football in Matabeleland. The Confederacy is open to all clubs and soccer associations in Matabeleland provided they subscribe to the Constitution of MFC. Its objectives being development through sport, Soccer for human rights Community Development. Career grooming and exposure. International Representation. The Confederacy was founded in 2016 by Busani Sibindi who is its President. The Technical Director who is also a Co-founder is Busani Khanye.

The team were originally scheduled to play their first official friendly against Darfur on 10 December 2017, however travel problems led to the game being cancelled. Nevertheless, because of results in unofficial games against club sides, Matabeleland still gathered enough points to qualify for the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup in London.

Conifa World Football Cup ParticipationEdit

Matabeleland have played in the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup qualification. Matabeleland will participate in its maiden major Tournament,[5] the CONIFA World Football Cup to be held in London from 31 May to 10 June 2018. As part of the promotion for the tournament, sponsors Paddy Power launched a competition to design the kit Matabeleland will wear during the competition.[6] With English coach Justin Walley at the helm, it was previously announced that former Liverpool great Bruce Grobbelaar would work as goalkeeping coach while Halifax Town and current Zimbabwe international Cliff Moyo would appear for the side. However, when the final squad was announced, Moyo did not appear.

At the tournament, Matabeleland experienced a testing first game, losing 6–1 to Padania, while Thabiso Ndlela scored their first competitive goal. A final game victory over Tuvalu delivered a record 3–1 win with Shylock Ndlovu scoring a brace, pitting them against Algerian region Kabylia in the first placement round. Despite a strong performance, the Matabeleland side fell 4–3 on penalties. However, boosted by the appearance of Zimbabwean legend Bruce Grobbelaar, two 1–0 victories followed against Chagos Islands (replacing the expelled Ellan Vannin) and Tamil Eelam as the African team eventually finished 13th in the overall tournament rankings.

At the end of the tournament, English coach Justin Walley stepped down as manager, while the MFC announced the formation of a women's team[7] and participation in the 2018 Human Rights Cup.[8]

World Cup recordEdit

Year Position P W D L F A
ConIFA World Football Cup
  2014 Did not enter
  2016 Did not qualify
  2018 13th 5 2 1 2 5 12
Total Best: 13th 5 2 1 2 5 12

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up to the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup. Caps and goals correct as of 30 May 2018.

Note: While ConIFA accepts unofficial games as caps, Matabeleland's first officially recognised game was 31 May 2018 against   Padania.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Thandazani Mdlongwa (1988-01-08) 8 January 1988 (age 31) 18 0   Victory United
29 1GK Notice Dube (1988-11-26) 26 November 1988 (age 30) 7 0   Makomo FC
13 1GK Bruce Sithole (1991-04-07) 7 April 1991 (age 28) 1 0 Unattached
96 1GK Bruce Grobbelaar (1957-10-06) 6 October 1957 (age 61) 0 0 Retired

4 2DF Khulekani Maziwa (1988-09-15) 15 September 1988 (age 31) 24 7 Unattached
12 2DF Sipho Mlalazi (1991-09-14) 14 September 1991 (age 28) 20 9 Unattached
14 2DF Praise Ndlovu (captain) (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 (age 26) 20 0 Unattached
6 2DF Mthulisi Mbizo (1994-09-24) 24 September 1994 (age 24) 17 1   Lupane State
2 2DF Michael Sibindi (1992-09-13) 13 September 1992 (age 27) 9 0 Unattached
15 2DF Mthulusi Dube (1995-09-08) 8 September 1995 (age 24) 3 0 Unattached

10 3MF Oscar George (1996-01-07) 7 January 1996 (age 23) 24 6 Unattached
7 3MF Andisiwe Sibindi (1986-06-14) 14 June 1986 (age 33) 19 1 Unattached
17 3MF Thomas Nkomo (1989-09-25) 25 September 1989 (age 29) 18 5 Unattached
3 3MF Bekithemba Moyo (1987-04-25) 25 April 1987 (age 32) 16 11 Unattached
8 3MF Sawusani Mudimba (1997-05-12) 12 May 1997 (age 22) 10 13   FMSA Umguza
11 3MF Romeo Sibanda (1990-04-01) 1 April 1990 (age 29) 4 0 Unattached
5 3MF Godwin Ndlovu (1988-12-11) 11 December 1988 (age 30) 3 0 Unattached
16 3MF Musa Sthamburi

22 4FW Mduduzi Mpofu (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 22) 23 13   Victory United
21 4FW Professor Tshuma (1990-04-27) 27 April 1990 (age 29) 23 10 Unattached
18 4FW Shylock Ndlovu (1990-03-08) 8 March 1990 (age 29) 10 8 Unattached
19 4FW Thabiso Ndlela (1996-09-10) 10 September 1996 (age 23) 8 7 Unattached
20 4FW Dumenkosini Ndlovu (1996-08-01) 1 August 1996 (age 23) 7 3   CIWU

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Matabeleland". CONIFA. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  2. ^ eDuzeNet. "Matebeleland National Football Team seeks a Nickname - uMthwakazi Review". www.umthwakazireview.com.
  3. ^ eDuzeNet. "Approval of Matabeleland Football Confederacy into CONIFA". Bulawayo24 News.
  4. ^ "SAVE MATABELELAND COALITION". www.savematabelelandcoalition.org. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  5. ^ eDuzeNet. "Matabeleland gears up for the World Football Cup". Bulawayo24 News. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  6. ^ GET SHIRTY – YOUR CHANCE TO DESIGN KITS AT THE CONIFA WORLD FOOTBALL CUP! Paddy Power.
  7. ^ Cup, Human Rights (21 September 2018). "The women's football team of #Matabeleland in #Zimbabwe are preparing for their first International #football games at the @HumanRightsCup which will take place in Johannesburg #SouthAfrica to promote @UNHumanRights Day. @MatabelFootball @QueenLozikeyiAc #InternationalDayOfPeacepic.twitter.com/vbm5UqlTCH". twitter.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  8. ^ Cup, Human Rights (23 September 2018). "After participating at the CONIFA World Cup in London, @MatabelFootball is planning their next international #football game at the @HumanRightsCup in #Johannesburg. Team #Matabeleland from #Zimbabwe will send an important message of hope, peace, and #humanrights. @SavMatabelelandpic.twitter.com/koE9YN2eLW". twitter.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.