Zifa to elect old guard

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As the battle for the Zifa presidency draws closer, it is becoming abundantly clear that Zimbabwe’s football is going to have to do with the same old leaders that have been recycled over the years.

Other than former Caps United player Charlie Jones, there are no new faces contesting for the Zifa top job and football analysts are already ‘giving’ the Zifa presidency to the same old guard that has been blamed for failing to lift Zimbabwe football from the doldrums.

Former PSL boss Tapiwa Matangaidze, former Eastern region chairman Cuthbert Dube, former PSL secretary general Leslie Gwindi and the incumbent president Wellington Nyatanga are familiar faces that are vying for the post at 53 Livingstone Avenue.

These individuals have been involved in local football in different capacities and at different times over many years.

They are regarded as the team that failed to rescue Zimbabwe’s football as it continued to be a laughing stock at both regional and international levels.

Ex-player Jones is the only one who has neither served the PSL nor Zifa.

However, he has failed as an administrator at the former premiership side Arcadia United.

While football fans would have thought that March 27 would usher in a new generation of football administrators, the reality on the ground is that the Zifa council is likely to elect the same individuals who have previously failed to deliver.

One example, Tapiwa Matangaidze was on the Zifa board for the past four years while also serving as PSL chairman.

According to the league’s financial results which were released at the PSL Annual General Meeting last Saturday, the league is in serious financial problems.

The same Matangaidze who presided over this mismanagement at the PSL now seeks election as head of the country’s football mother body.

Dube has been involved in local football intermittently for the past decade.

He was the Eastern Region chairman from 2001-6 during which time he also served on the Zifa board.

He contested in the last Zifa election and lost to incumbent Nyatanga.

He also used to own the now defunct Buymore franchise which he later sold to Caps Holdings after the club ran into financial problems.

Nyatanga the incumbent Zifa president seeks re-election even in the face of glaring failures during his four-year tenure.

Dismal performances have become the hallmarks of all national football teams.

The Warriors (national team), The Mighty Warriors (women’s national team) and the Young Warriors have all been a big disappointment in the last season.

Football development systems that have been mooted countless times have all been stillbirths and those that had achieved some semblance of life and had brought some hope to football lovers remain in a sorry state.

As a result, Zimbabwe will not be there when the 2010 World Cup roars into life just across the river in South Africa.

We also fell by the wayside in the continental competition and had to watch the Africa Cup of Nations from the terraces.

Gwindi, the former PSL secretary general has also become another household name in football.

The name is sadly not associated with any celebrations on the country’s football platform.

Nonetheless, Gwindi thinks he has not done enough ‘damage’ and wants another go, this time at the helm of Zimbabwe’s football.