Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

I’m no mercenary – Matthew Rusike

By Farayi Machamire

For a player who voluntarily sacrificed his own wages to fly himself in and out of Sweden for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, Matthew Rusike is devastated to see his patriotism questioned.

Matthew Rusike
Matthew Rusike

The Club Africain forward has decided to open up about his omission from the Warriors squad that beat Liberia 3-0 in last weekend’s 2019 Afcon qualifier at the National Sports Stadium.

His heart bled as news filtered to him in Tunisia that he would not be selected for future Warriors assignments after Zifa “banned” him together with Cuthbert Malajila, Willard Katsande and Nyasha Mushekwi.

The quartet was accused of being the masterminds of the Afcon send-off ceremony boycott after the players protested over their dues.

To Zifa, Rusike along with Malajila, Katsande and Mushekwi were labelled as “mercenaries”.

The argument, though, is difficult to sustain in the eyes of neutrals who witnessed the heated stand-off between the Warriors and Zifa over Afcon appearance fees and winning bonuses.

“I was not given a reason (of omission) by anyone from Zifa,” Rusike told the Daily News yesterday from Tunisia.

“I found out like everyone else, from the media, which was a bit hurtful as I am very patriotic and I love my country and the football very much.

“During qualifiers, I paid for my own flights to come from Sweden, is this the act of a mercenary?”

The Sports and Recreation Commission is yet to release its findings after setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate the problems that led to the boycott.

“I have read all the speculation about what did and what didn’t happen during Afcon and for (the) four of us to be hung out to dry for me is unbelievable but these things happen,” Rusike said.

“If it’s for the better of the group and pushing our nation forward then sometimes certain things or people need to be sacrificed.

“I have a good relationship with (Philip) Chiyangwa so maybe I will speak with him now that it’s off-season because he was there every step of the way and knows the truth.”

Despite the “misunderstanding” the former St George’s College pupil is still eager to play for the national team.

“…there is no greater honour than playing for my country. Nobody from another player to anyone from administration can put me off playing for Zimbabwe,” he said.

“It’s a shame that this year after an admittedly disappointing Afcon, I have grown and learnt a lot and currently playing some of my best football.

“I have seven goals in 13 games and this weekend we have the cup final. So not being a part of my national team was difficult to accept but I supported them all the way and massive congratulations to them and Norman for doing the job.”

Warriors’ interim coach Norman Mapeza guided the side to an impressive demolition of Liberia, courtesy of a Knowledge Musona hat-trick.

Zimbabwe now face tougher assignments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo Brazzaville when the qualifiers resume early next year.

“..this is just the beginning, it’s not easy qualifying,” Rusike said.

“The road is long. Hopefully in the future I can contribute. If not I hold no grudges I will still be supporting my fellow team mates.

“Once a Warrior always a Warrior that cannot be taken from me.” Daily News

  • We are zimbos.gratitude and appreciation is what we lack

  • You will play again, the same happened to the Asiagate guys.

    • khanda1

      Even Peter Ndovu…the same story happened

  • Steady man…wait and see….politics and soccer are 2 different things

  • ko Zanu ikapinda mubhora wangu bhora rafa wena iwe

  • we want patriots to represent us for mahala if possible -asingade hatinyengerere-

  • Thats Zim for u mkedha. After witnessin the way Ndoro playin i can safely say we still need u

  • Patriotism in Zimbabwe is when you praise ZANU and worship the President,

  • Inga vamwe vaiuya wani Benjani Peter ko apa mibvunzo ndeyei.

  • Wadhuwa kuita muchena kkkkkk

  • Let not your heart be troubled mfanami.life goes on.
    Towards AFCON final u guys did wat was right by boycotting that event cause those thiefs at ZIFA wanted to tricky u to play for Mahala,but forgetting that u have families to feed.
    U r a true warrior

  • unotamba zvako next year, kana Mdc yakutonga

  • Why risk your career playing for free. Soccer career is short and one needs to make money. If one suffers a major injury it’s your family that suffers. We need to be practical in life and patriotism does not work

  • Anx my bra

  • chiwangwa is destroy our football like his uncle Bob he destroy our nation

  • Mabasa eZanupf

  • It’s simple and clear.Don’t help these people nor try to impress them.These are the Zimbabweans..

  • HAIWAWO

  • Dont worry sonboy concentrate on your career God knows your predicament and your truth.This braPhidzas farm is full of poisonous weeds

  • Vane godo variko….shandira mhuri yako iwe

  • big up a true worior….gamba rinomira nesimba battling for his country…..#

  • big up a true worior….gamba rinomira nesimba battling for his country…..#

  • Zvekushandisiwa mahara muchipinza mari mumba memamwe madinga ipapo rambai.kuitiwa sevanhu vezanu vanofira caps t-shirt dhuku zambia nyama yemvuu neye zhou bodo bodo

  • You deserve that partnership with Knowledge musona for the Warriors. I don’t think you did anything wrong it’s just victimization from other people who think they’re gods of this world.

  • Well said Rusike

  • Rusike my bro i think u we born a rapper u got no room in the football pitch thank u bro

    • Rapper rinomwaya magoals kutop league yakaita seyekuAlgeria..iwee. leave mkedha alone he is a striker he played to instruction as a winger pana Pasuwa bt Zvirekwi airemerwa meaning he had no choice bt to help him.. restrictin his movements kuenda mberi. Anoda patsono uya

    • No bro wozogarisa ani bench

    • Ndoro naEvans waitotadza kukanda maobviouse goals

    • Hard aicover muroyiwa aibvinza

  • I accept yr apologies if you meant bt let guys investigate yr side n u will gain yr chance

  • pandakaimba Mubikira maiti ndaita mba here?agona kuvafadza ndingamutye

  • But bhora haugone zvakatobatsira hameno kuti anokudaidza akaonei chengeta mari yako usauye kuno tane simbi mulink

  • Tamba hako ikoko kunemari kuno unotyokera mahara zvako iwe isa mari yako mubag wakanyarara