Will Zifa get it right this time?


The shameful 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the Warriors have come and gone and Zimbabweans, again, will have to watch the best 16 teams on the continent in January and February on television.

It’s a sad reality that we have to live with as we commiserate with our fellow neighbours South Africa, who were caught pants down by their own illiteracy in interpreting the rules of the competition and the trio of Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, who also failed to qualify.

At the same time, we say congratulations, especially to Botswana who qualified for the first time under Stanley Tshosane, Zambia and Niger, who continue to impress after an eventful performance in the Chan games in Sudan early this year.

For us, it’s the proverbial back to the drawing board after Norman Mapeza’s men failed to beat Cape Verde in the last qualifier last Saturday in Praia where they fell 1-2.

The reactions were rather obvious-the team must be kept intact because, undoubtedly there is abundance of talent, Mapeza must be given another chance to lead the Warriors in the 2013 Afcon and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

No problem with that as sometimes there is need for continuity.

But the question on two fronts still remain: Is there enough brains in the current technical team to lead the Warriors to the Holy Grail?

Certainly not. A technical advisor is needed in the team and Mapeza has to get another assistant and stop relying on Joey Antipas alone.

This assists in wide consultations when it comes to making decisions because, coaches, like anybody else can also run out of tactics when the going gets tough.

Why has Zifa chosen to ignore German mentor Klaus Dieter Pagels? He has given it all to the Mighty Warriors and we have seen the success.

The Warriors have won the Cosafa Women’s Championships, have camped in Germany and played in the All Africa Games.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and his board must look at all these issues when they meet next Friday and certainly stop saying the issue of the coach is not on the agenda. It must be on the agenda because the nation is disappointed.

It must be on the agenda because the technical team must be beefed up without fail. It must be on the agenda because all these decisions that Dube has pronounced since the defeat have been made known to the entire board through the media.

It is Dube, in his campaign manifesto who stated that he valued democracy, transparency, professionalism and team work. And team work does not come by declaration, but consultation and an open door policy.

Dube is aware how his board was divided since last year because of the issue of unilateral decisions and perceived regionalism and he has worked so hard to unite it. He therefore cannot take the lead in dismantling the same empire that he worked so hard to build.

A good leader will listen to the concerns of those he leads, digest their propositions, present a united stand with the rest of the board, implement the resolutions and take responsibility for the outcome.

We believe Dube has those attributes, we believe he knows Mapeza needs assistance and we believe the entire board has the right to discuss the entire failed campaign and right the wrongs.