Football family mourns Matongorere

A former Zifa technical director, Matongorere was part of the Caps  United technical team at the time of his passing.

THE football family has been plunged into mourning following the death of top coaching instructor Nelson Matongorere on Wednesday night.

A former Zifa technical director, Matongorere was part of the Caps  United technical team at the time of his passing.

He was 68.

Mourners are gathered at his Highfield home in Harare.

Zifa normalisation committee led in paying tribute to the legendary coach, who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to training footballers and coaches in the country.

“It is with profound sadness that the Zimbabwe Football Association has learned of the passing of Nelson Matongorere, Caps United assistant coach and former Zifa technical director.

“Matongorere, who was also a Caf certified instructor and Zifa northern region head of the technical and development committee, commanded immense respect within the football community. His vast experience spanning several decades at various levels within our football pyramid, contributed significantly to the beautiful game.

“Larger than life yet humble, Nelson Matongorere was, indeed, a true gentle giant. He will be sorely missed by all of us at Zifa and by everyone who had the privilege of knowing and working with him,” Zifa said.

Matongorere, who was part of coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s backroom staff, missed Caps United’s last five matches after suffering a stroke.

The clubs also paid tribute to their coach in a statement.

“The Caps United family, football family and the nation is gripped with sorrow following the passing on of coach, father, leader, elder and mentor Nelson Matongorere. We have sadly lost a true legend of the game. For decades Nelson Matongorere dedicated his life to shaping young athletes and inspiring countless teams.

“His legacy extends far beyond the pitch, as he taught us valuable life lessons about discipline, team work and all the perseverance. We will deeply miss his guidance, wisdom and passion for the beautiful game,” the club said. 

Harare giants Dynamos said the passing on of a football teacher and gentle giant “leaves a hole in Zimbabwean football”.

“The passing on of the great teacher of football, a great gentle giant leaves a huge hole in Zimbabwean football,” Dynamos said.

“The late Matongorere contributed  significantly to the growth  of Zimbabwean football  as a club coach, national under 20 and 23 coach, Zifa technical director and Caps United technical director. He was instrumental in developing the current technical structure of Zimbabwean  football  as an instructor who worked  closely with the Confederation of African Football,” Dynamos said.

“His football footprints shall forever remain etched on the Zimbabwean football landscape.”

Matongorere is credited for producing many of the country’s top coaches.

He began his coaching journey back in 1981 when he acquired his Level 1 certificate and since then rose to become a Fifa and Caf accredited instructor.

The veteran coach also played a role in reviving women football in the country and also served as a Zifa technical director back in 2011.

He also worked in the Warriors set up under Klaus dieter Pagels and he also mentored the women’s national team.

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