Zifa board must go

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SINCE ascending to his present position on March 27, 2010, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube’s trump card in office has been the discovery of chicanery by our national team in Asia where they were paid to throw matches.

NewsDay Editorial

The scandal is now infamously known as Asiagate.

Everyone who has been following events at Zifa would agree that Dube’s achievements at the helm of Zifa start and end with Asiagate.

Dube and his fellow board members scored a major boardroom coup by “discovering” Asiagate, but have done little or nothing towards the development of the game from grassroots level right up to the Warriors — our national team.

Any other claim that Zifa have succeeded in another sphere is just hogwash. If anything, Women’s Soccer has, in fact, gone a gear up with Mavis Gumbo at the top, ironically Dube’s subordinate.

Notwithstanding the shameful exit of the senior men’s team from the 2014 World Cup, the current Zifa board has presided over the death of our youth teams — supposedly the bedrock of the senior team.

The Under-17 and Under-20 teams face a ban from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) after they failed to fulfil fixtures against Congo and Angola respectively.

No wonder the football governing body has managed to trick the nation into believing that we can rebuild at senior level.  The nation was told that German coach Dieter Klaus Pagels would rebuild the team after Asiagate, but following a string of poor results  — including a heavy 4-2 defeat to Egypt at home recently — very few believe Zifa anymore or even Pagels’ tiki-taka football.

The final nail in Pagels’ mission was hammered down in Conakry on Sunday where they lost  1-0 to Guinea.

It would appear Pagels’ exercise is futile because he has lost all the three competitive matches on the trot, but then you can’t blame the German alone.

He is working under a Zifa board that cannot plan, that has no clue at all about football.

Instead of concentrating on the Warriors’ performance, Zifa have always planned to punish those football officials seen as opposed to their poor performance. A case in point is that of Harare City chairperson Leslie Gwindi, who contested against Dube and lost.

Gwindi’s crime was being vocal over the poor handling by Zifa of the Warriors’ affairs — and, therefore, they plan to haul him before a disciplinary hearing.

On several occasions things have been done on an ad hoc basis, including travel and camping arrangements. The Warriors’ trip to Guinea was a forgettable one after just 11 players made the trip while others had to follow due to poor travel arrangements.

It was not the first time that Zifa had bungled travel plans for the team. The current board’s failures are well documented, but it’s just that they enjoy political backing especially from Zanu PF bigwigs.

With these well-laid-out failures, one would have expected Dube and his lieutenants to resign en masse, but surprisingly they want another tenure in March next year. It is time for Dube to go.

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