NEW national football team coach Ian Gorowa has started his reign brilliantly after the national team beat Mauritius 3-0 in the first round, first leg of the African Nations Championships (Chan) and completed the match to the final qualifying round with a 1-1 draw at home on Sunday.
This coming weekend the Warriors will engage Zambia for a place in next year’s finals set for South Africa.
Our attention is drawn to the fact that the Warriors almost went on strike before the Sunday match due to money problems. Zifa is broke no doubt, and has been broke for the last decade or so with debts mounting with each incoming administration.
There is no government support, no corporate support because somehow people believe the national team belongs to Zifa. No, it belongs to the nation and needs everyone’s support.
We salute everybody who came to Rufaro on Sunday, and the corporates that supported Zifa in hosting Mauritius and paying for the match officials. If only this could be done at government level.
In this new Parliament we have people like Tapiwa Matangaidze, Chris Chitindi, Ziyambi Ziyambi and Ray Kazembe who have a sporting background and must understand the need for national and corporate support. We hope these fellows will implore the government to form a separate sports ministry that will then work to harness every corporate interested in supporting the industry.
The proper advice for Zifa for now is: Stay away from the Warriors, provide the financial support and work on the corporate support and let the coaches do their work and tie down Gorowa to a long-term contract with specific targets like Afcon 2015, whether we qualify for Chan or not.
While corporate sponsors like Mbada Diamonds have always supported the Warriors and we encourage them to do more, we need more from the government. Once that happens, Zifa will not have to worry about hosting teams and paying for match officials and ground rentals and that would make them realise some sort of profit from home matches.
We are worried though that the State Lotteries and Gaming Board, which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and remits funds to government for use in various development programmes and charity, has completely ignored the dire situation in football.
The State Lotteries and Gaming Act Chapter 10:26 Part V Section 45, clearly states that a proportion of proceeds of State lotteries is to be used for charity or sport. The Act also states that the President may, in respect of any State lottery, determine that a sum not exceeding 25% of the amount subscribed be used for relief of distress within Zimbabwe.
The Act goes on to say the minister responsible may designate not more than one State lottery in any year as a Sports Lottery. In that event, the full amount paid into the State lottery account, less any expenses that may have been incurred by the State in conducting this shall be paid to the Sports and Recreation Commission.
The SRC would then channel the funds to distressed sports like football in times of need. We do hope that when things normalise, there will be more support for sport, especially football, not only from the corporate world, but also from government.