HomeSportSoccerWarriors Afcon failure comes under scrutiny

Warriors Afcon failure comes under scrutiny

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The Warriors’ failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea comes under scrutiny when the Zifa board holds a special general meeting in Harare on Friday afternoon.

Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has already been told his job is safe by Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and needs endorsement from the rest of the board to continue at the helm of the national team.

Should he get that endorsement, Mapeza will have to recommend how he intends to beef up his technical team ahead of 2013 Afcon qualifiers and the 2014 World Cup qualifiers that kick off in June next year.

The Warriors will play former African giants Egypt (rebuilding), Guinea and the winner between Mozambique and Comoros who meet in a two-legged preliminary round play-off next month.

Mapeza’s boys failed at the last hurdle when all they needed was a win against the Cape Verde Islands, but lost 2-1 after conceding two goals — via captain Method Mwanjali — in the opening 13 minutes of the game.

Before that, they had beaten Mali 2-1 at home, courtesy of a Knowledge Musona double before thumping Liberia 3-0 at home.

They had drawn 1-1 against Liberia in the opening qualifier in Monrovia before the Zifa board took centre stage.

A technical committee tasked with hiring a foreign coach for the Warriors, recommended Belgian Tom Saintfiet, but the former Namibian mentor decided to start his work without being granted a work permit, in violation of immigration laws.

Saintfiet was then deported and Zifa appointed Mapeza and Madinda Ndlovu as joint coaches for the October 7 home match against Cape Verde, which eventually ended in a 0-0 draw.

Mapeza, the favourite, was basically in full charge of the proceedings while Ndlovu was content with sitting on the bench for the duration of the game.

After the draw, Dube announced Mapeza as the head coach with Joey Antipas as his assistant, but by the time the qualifiers reached the penultimate stage, those two dropped points at home to Cape Verde were about to haunt the Warriors.

According to the agenda of the meeting released by Zifa last week, the board will also discuss the formation of the Zifa Independent Ad hoc Disciplinary Committee on the backdrop of news that former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya had met with Fifa officials at an undisclosed location.

Rushwaya is named in the Asiagate reports.

Zifa has also been given an opportunity to host the 2012 African Women’s Championships and the board will decide whether to take up the offer or not. Zimbabwe recently successfully hosted the Cosafa women’s championships.

Board member (finance) Elliot Kasu will also take to the podium to brief members on the organisations’ financial standings, although it is highly likely he will not report a positive balance after taking over a bankrupt body last March.

That long-dead project called Zifa (Pvt) Ltd, will find its name on the table today as the national association seeks to find avenues to raise funds rather than rely on the government, sponsors and Dube’s personal finances.

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