Amid the grief that descended on national football yesterday, when the Umbro Warriors kit was met with strong resistance, and the rejection, by angry fans, of former team captain Moses Chunga provided a ray of light.
The kit, launched in Harare on Thursday, sparked a wave of outrage among fans who believe the British sportswear company could have done a much better job of providing the Warriors with a quality kit compatible with a national football team.
Some of the fans are now demanding that ZIFA create an alternate plan in which the Warriors will use a better and more acceptable kit in the AFCON finals of 2019, even if that means attracting Umbro sanctions.
The point of contention among the fans remains what they say is the low quality of the kit, the lack of imagination in the design and, crucially, that the Zimbabwean flag has been hidden at the end of the shirts.
All kits that national teams used in the past had the national flag appearing prominently on the chest part of the shirts.
An online poll conducted by sports journalist Mike Madoda has drawn 403 participants since last night with four percent saying they loved it, 10 percent saying it was decent, 22 percent saying Umbro could have done better and 64 percent saying it was disgusting.
However, Madoda described the official kit as "simple but much better than the other numbers shown earlier."
And in the midst of all this, it was left to the former captain Chunga to provide a rainbow of joy in all this sadness.
This came after it emerged yesterday that a Belgian football club, created in the shadow of World War I, initially as a project to raise funds for prisoners of war, will hold its Centenary Celebrations next month with Chunga one of the players to be honored at side of the century team.
Zimbabwean football legend received an invitation from VVIP for the 10-day celebrations in Belgium, which start on June 14 and end on June 25, two days before the Belgian club turns 100.
Chunga, whose exploits for Eendracht Aalst have been honored by the club on two occasions in the past since he left Belgium for more than a quarter of a century, are now among the top 11 players to represent the club. in the last 100 years.
It is a huge honor for the Zimbabwean soccer legend who was invited to attend the one-week Centennial Celebration in Aalst next month.
The Belgian club where Chunga spent five years in which he was also captain of the team said that more than 25 years after he left, his fans are still talking about him.
The former Dynamos star became the first Zimbabwean footballer after Independence to move to a European club at a time when opportunities for African players in that part of the world were not as vast as it is today in day. are open to all talented football players.
"More than 25 years after their last game for Eendracht Aalst, the fans are still talking about you," wrote club executive director Dirk Adriaenssens in his official invitation to Chunga to come to Belgium for the Centenary Celebrations.
"Your ex-football club, Eendracht Aalst, is celebrating his 100th birthday next month, and this is a party. Below you will find the main program of our Centennial celebration:
Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM – Legends Game (ex-players)
Friday, June 21, 2019 – Gala dinner "100 years Eendracht Aalst."
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 20:00 – Century Game (first team)
"But there's more.
"You have been nominated for our 'Century Team', which, I am confident, you will consider as a great honor.
"Consequently, several press interviews will be arranged during your stay (television, radio and newspapers). We have already booked a room for two people (breakfast included) for you at the Aalst Ibis hotel.
"The room will be available from June 14 to 23. We will be happy to pick you up at Brussels Airport, so it would be very pleasant to welcome you to Aalst for this series of events.
"We fervently hope that you will be able to accept this exclusive invitation."
Chunga told The Saturday Herald he was extremely honored to be named in Aalst's "Team of the Century" and to have another meeting with people who will always have a special part in their heart.
"It's amazing that the story never ends and that's what happens when you have a really professional structure, because history will always be considered very important in such institutions because it has helped shape what they are today," said Chunga.
"It's the second invitation I get from the club in the two years to meet and come back to memory and relive some of our best moments and every time I get there, there's a feeling I can not describe that sweeps me.
"I spent the better part of my career there, even having to admit that Dynamos will also always have a special place in my heart, and going there to relive some of those moments, meet some of the fans who are still there because there are brand loyalties in these parts of the world, and some of the teammates are very special.
"It's humiliating that these guys still remember the Zimbabwean who came to their city and threw their heart out for them and, more than 25 years later, the connection is still strong and I'm sure we'll have a big party in the summer, when the sun is shining, and memories will be created. "
Two years ago, Chunga spent another 10 days in Aalst, where he received five-star treatment and was feted as a king.
He placed his signature next to that of Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh in the Golden Book of the town of Aalst in a function to honor him in the Town House and was also applauded standing by the fans of the club in his stadium.
Aalst was formed on June 25, 1919 and was promoted to the first Belgian division in 1939.
But for a club whose roots were in a project in which city residents played football to raise money for prisoners of war during World War I, war always seemed to set its course.
And in the season they won promotion in the Belgian first division, World War II broke out and hampered football, and it was only in 1942 that the club finally completed its first season in the elite league.