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#39117 07/16/08 10:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
FORMER Zimbabwe national soccer team coach Reinhard Fabisch has died at the age of 57.

He had been ill for sometime, the German Football Federation announced on Monday.

Fabisch, easily the most celebrated coach of Zimbabwe's national side, was in charge of the Warriors between 1992 and 1995.

His 'Dream Team' galvanised the patriotic fervour of a nation -- although success eluded him.

His team included Zimbabwe greats like Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu, Ephraim Chawanda, Francis Shonhayi, Benjamin Nkonjera, Adam Ndlovu, Rahman Gumbo, John Phiri, Paul Gundani, Agent Sawu, Alexander Maseko and Henry McKop.

Muzondiwa Mugadza, a former national team goalkeeper who came into contact with Fabisch while playing for the Under 23 side remembered a "gentle giant".

Mugadza, who now lives in Coventry, England, said: "He mobilised a whole nation to support the Dream Team. His biggest contribution to Zimbabwean football was getting fans to go to football stadiums.

"His death is a loss to football in general, and specifically to African football because that's where he had dedicated his life."

Fabisch coached Benin at this year's CAF Africa Cup of Nations, but failed to get 'The Squirrels' past the first round as they went down to three defeats.

He stood down in April because of his illness.

Fabisch, who played for Borussia Dortmund from 1969-71, had originally got the post because of his extensive experience in coaching African countries having handled Zimbabwe (1992-95) and Kenya (1987, 1997 and 2001-02).

He caused an uproar at the Africa Cup of Nations when he claimed that he had been approached by an Asian betting syndicate to fix the result of his team's opening African Nations Cup game against Mali which they lost 1-0.


abafokazi #39118 07/16/08 10:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
By Farayi Mungazi
Last updated: 07/15/2008 10:39:29
NO LONGER will we see him pacing up and down the touchline resembling a man desperately looking for his car keys.

No longer will we see him barking instructions to his players from the dug-out, or berating a referee for being ?the most ignorant man I?ve ever seen?.

With the death of Reinhard Fabisch comes the end of an extraordinary football life.

I will always remember him as a mild-mannered, easy-going coach blessed with the ability to transform teams and individuals.

But I shall also remember that not everyone in positions of authority - from referees to administrators - admired Fabisch?s abrasive style.

The German was constantly in trouble with the game?s big-wigs, thanks to his outspoken views and refusal to bow the knee before authority.

His often outrageous comments and eccentric behaviour made him one of the best-known foreign coaches in Africa.

For a man of personality, it was also inevitable that his name would become a byword for controversy.

Ever brash and opinionated, Fabisch was a true football maverick, a man who will go down in history as one of the most highly regarded coaches to work in African football.

I last saw him in Ghana during the African Nations Cup in February when, in his hotel room, he told me that he had been offered money to fix one of Benin?s matches.

It was a story that cast a dark shadow over this year?s tournament and irked some African football chiefs who felt Fabisch should not have spoken during the event.

But, as always, Fabisch was unrepentant: ?I have a duty to players and fans, so I can?t keep my mouth shut if someone offers me money to fix a game,? he told me.

I knew Fabisch well but not intimately. I found him to be a coach who was resolutely loyal to his players, implacable if he felt they were being unfairly treated.

He loved talking about the game and was genuinely passionate about Africa. He never ducked questions, and always made himself available to journalists.

It should not be forgotten what an outstanding job he made of managing the Warriors. Under his astute tutelage, they came agonisingly close to qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

He will be a huge loss to the game. May his football-loving soul rest in peace.

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