WITH so much progress having been made in the probe into the Asiagate football match-fixing scandal, Zifa now needs to refocus when the board meets tomorrow and chart a visible way forward for the development of the national game.
A whole lot of players and officials have paid their fines, some have presented their case to Zifa on how they intend to pay while others, who believe they are innocent, have appealed and await their cases to be heard by the Special Appeals Committee.
This was a sad chapter that we need to quickly forget and focus on what we need to do in the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers, the Cosafa Senior Challenge in Zambia in July and the African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifiers.
We need that friendly match on February 6 and the sooner Zifa engages its usual partner,Mbada Diamonds, the better. We will not tolerate any late running around. This date has been on the Fifa calendar since 2010!
This will help new coach Klaus Dieter Pagels — the fifth Warriors # since 2010 — put together a new and competitive team that will give us a better showing in the World Cup qualifiers after a poor start.
The Cosafa and Chan championships will be contested by local players and often enough resources have been sought for the foreign stars. But now we need a concerted effort to make sure the local players are well catered for so that their main business remains playing football and not their welfare.
Last year there was an all-stakeholders’ football indaba where various recommendations were made on the revival of Zifa and the game and it’s time follow-ups were made on those. The national association is saddled with debt of around $4 million and measures should be put in place to retire the debt.
But without co-operation from the corporate sector, this could all be a dream. But we remain encouraged by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu’s comments that football will not be allowed to die and support will be availed to the Warriors.
Mbada Diamonds are already involved with the Warriors while Marange Resources have taken aboard the Mighty Warriors and the Women’s Football League in addition to golf and rugby and we pray for this continued support.
Area zones, districts, provinces and regions have been neglected in the last few years and we need to see Zifa president Cuthbert Dube in Sanyati, Mangwe, Dotito, Muzarabani, Tsholotsho and Chipinge this year. The Zifa Village must be completed and the artificial turf installed. And Zifa must improve on its communications.
Its chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze needs to be available to the media when they want him instead of just switching off his mobile. They do not have a communications officer for now, so Mashingaidze must make himself available all the time.
Of course, there will always be the small matter of Zifa telling the nation the truth on who voted for the Fifa Ballon D’or. And board member (finance) Elliot Kasu releasing the audit report for the Mzansi90 fundraising.