chapter  10
Zimbabwe United?
Exploring cooperation and contestations in the context of national football team fandom in Zimbabwe
ByManase Kudzai Chiweshe
Pages 16

Football is an important part of everyday life in Zimbabwe. National team football identities and activities need to be understood within a framework of antagonistic cooperation. To better understand the power of football in breaking social barriers in Zimbabwe one have to go back to the Reinhard Fabisch inspired 'Dream Team' that narrowly lost qualification to the 1994 World Cup. Ethnicity is an important issue within Zimbabwean society given the history of conflict and persecution defining the two major ethnic groups, the Shona and Ndebele. Understanding 'whiteness' within post-colonial identities can provide further interesting intersections of race and sport in Zimbabwe. Club affiliations, racial, ethnic or gender divisions were forgotten as Zimbabweans came together to support the national team. In Zimbabwe, certain rivalries, such as Highlanders versus Dynamos, have deep socio-historical roots based on ethno-regional differences that go beyond football.