‘No need for scapegoats’


Zifa board member (competitions) Benedict Moyo believes there is need to build on the disappointing failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after losing 2-1 to Cape Verde Islands last Saturday.

The Warriors had gone into the game with eight points needing three points to win the group, but lost the match when Liberia seemed to have done Zimbabwe a favour by playing out a 2-2 draw in Monrovia.

Instead of finding scapegoats for the failure, the former Mighty Warriors coach said they will sit as a board and evaluate where the team and the association went wrong.

“It’s always easy to find scapegoats in such cases, but we need to be objective and not subjective when we have the meeting as a board, to see how we can plan for the future.

“The plan for Afcon 2013 and the World Cup in 2014 is already in place, but that can only work if we have the right people, qualified personnel, in place. If you are unqualified you can not perform,” he said.

Asked if they would beef up the technical team led by Norman Mapeza, but has only one assistant in Joey Antipas and has no technical advisor, Moyo said:

“It’s too early to say that, but when we do an honest evaluation, all things will fall in place. We have to look at where we got it wrong so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. We are not looking for sacrificial lambs because that becomes emotional and we will lose it at the end of the day.”

Mapeza has already been given a vote of confidence by Zifa president Cuthbert Dube to carry on with his duties with an eye to qualify for the 2013 Afcon finals in South Africa and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

This is a tall order for Mapeza and he needs to have an experienced technical adviser in place, in addition to adding another assistant on the bench if both goals are to be achieved.

The Warriors have been drawn against a rebuilding Egyptian side, Guinea and the winner between Mozambique and the Comoros, in the Group G World Cup qualifiers starting next year.

The Warriors had started the 2012 campaign with a 1-1 away draw to Liberia before the home fixture against Cape Verde Islands last October degenerated into a fiasco following a technical team recommendation that Belgian Tom Saintfiet take over the hot seat.

The technical team, headed by suspended vice-president Kenny Marange, however, saw Saintfiet failing to get a work permit deported for violating immigration laws after starting work without relevant documentation.

Mapeza and Madinda Ndlovu were placed in joint charge of the team for the game, but the former on the day of the match, was barking instructions in a game that ended 0-0 — the two points lost eventually contributed to Zimbabwe’s failure to reach the finals.

Dube then fired Ndlovu and gave Mapeza the hot seat in a popular decision that endeared the Zifa president to the nation, at least for that time.

Zifa are also partly to blame for failing to have a camp in the run-up to the last game with players connecting from all over the world to meet in Cape Verde and having only two days of training before the crucial tie.