WARRIORS coach Rahman Gumbo bounced back into the technical team set-up yesterday, just 24 hours after Zifa had made a board resolution that the entire senior national team, including the coaches and players, be dissolved.
REPORT BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
The Zifa board met on Wednesday to discuss the Warriors’ failure to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa next year as well as the Asiagate match-fixing scandal and resolved to disband the national team in its entirety, including the technical team.
However, addressing a news conference in Harare yesterday, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said the technical team would be spared, at least for now.
He said they had taken the decision following the disastrous failure by the Warriors to make it to the continental football showcase after blowing a 3-1 lead to lose 2-0 in Angola and bow out on the away goals rule.
Dube said the association would start to build a new team around the juniors to prepare for future assignments, but also stressed that some of the players from the current team would survive.
Gumbo – who heads the technical committee that also has David Mandigora, Peter Ndlovu, Richard Tswatswa and team manager Nyika Chifamba – has been asked to submit a report on the entire campaign.
It is also understood that Chifamba will be replaced by former manager Sharrif Mussa.
Zifa said they also want a report on the failed 2012 campaign which was handled by Norman Mapeza.
Asked about the fate of the coaches following the disbandment of the team, Dube said: “We have asked the coaches to submit a report on the entire campaign from the Burundi game. We have another meeting next week on November 10 and we will make a decision after that meeting.”
Dube added: “We have the potential of being among the top 10 countries in terms of African football, for as long as we invest our energies and resources in the rebuilding, reconstruction, rehabilitation and revival of our game. We have the human capital that can turn around our game’s fortunes for the better, for as long as we have the unity of purpose. As we rebuild, we submit ourselves to the philosophy of ‘start afresh and stay afloat’. We have resolved, as the custodians of the game of football in Zimbabwe, after consultations internally, externally and with the technical team, to have a new dispensation.
“The Warriors who did duty for Zimbabwe during the 2012 and 2013 failed campaigns are with immediate effect retired en masse, allowing for a new senior national team to be built on the foundation of the present Under-17, 20 and 23 teams, and some deserving cases from the disbanded teams. The senior men’s team has been disbanded in its entirety, to pave way for the future, ahead of the Chan 2014, 2015 African Cup of Nations, 2016 Olympics, 2017 African Cup of Nations and 2018 Fifa World Cup.”
Zifa also said they would review the national team’s strategy in December. The national association said the December strategic retreat would help redefine the association’s vision, values, principles, strategic focus areas, aims and objectives and the strategic framework beyond which the game should assume a new robust and sustainable character.