HomeSportSoccerSport Comment: Seize this opportunity, Zifa

Sport Comment: Seize this opportunity, Zifa


The visit by the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) president Sepp Blatter to our country next week is momentous.

Momentous because it will provide the platform for local soccer to get to a higher level and hopefully offer insight to the football administrators on how the game can be run professionally.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) should tap a lot of knowledge from Blatter during his visit and try as much as possible to establish analogous structures to Fifa’s to ensure smooth running of the sport.

For a long time, local football has failed to reach the desired heights, especially in the areas of marketing and development. Herein lies the opportunity to push the agenda for the development of the game. It is like a dream come true for Zifa and they can’t let this chance slip away.

It is a podium where Zifa will be afforded a chance to present their case directly to the captain of the ship without any bureaucratic interference.

It is the stage on which Zifa must present to Blatter how they envisage a situation where a boy or girl from Tsholotsho could have their talents be brought to the fore.

Many a time talent from the rural areas has just slipped away and we encourage Zifa to make sure they put detailed programmes into a blueprint in the hope of convincing Blatter to pour money into this project, which should see Zimbabwe managing to identify talent from all four corners of the country.

Zifa also need to adopt the policy of aggressive marketing and stop the archaic approach where they think their brand is a must for the corporate world to sponsor because football appeals to the masses.

They should adopt the modern trends where even if the brand is commonplace you never cease to advertise it and develop it. Big brands such as Coca-Cola, Castle Lager and Pepsi continue to pump in millions for their products’ publicity — even if some people think Coca Cola is synonymous with the term “soft drink”.

But can we trust this man called Blatter?
He has just escaped unscathed from a controversial election which was marred by corruption allegations and by his own admission he is beleaguered.

He said after his election: “We know that the Fifa ship is in moving waters, I could even say in troubled waters, but I think this ship must be brought back to the right route.

“It is my duty and responsibility to see we get back on the right route but I can only do it with you, the 208 (national) associations. You are the owners of Fifa.

You are the legislative body but you are the decisive body. I’m certain you can follow me in the idea that we can settle the problems inside Fifa either by. . . strengthening what we already have.”

Clearly, Blatter is a wounded man and we only hope that he arrives here with renewed confidence after he was battered. Zifa must take this opportunity to put Zimbabwe on the world map and refrain from grandstanding.

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