Let’s rally behind Warriors

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THE Warriors face Tanzania in a crucial 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations first round, second leg football qualifier at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

NewsDay Editorial

Zimbabwe lost the first leg 1-0 a fortnight ago and need to overturn this deficit with two clear goals to progress to the second round.

The result in Tanzania two weeks ago is not what we expected. We probably still had the Chan hangover and forgot that other nations take the Afcon finals much more serious than any other tournament.

We did well in South Africa, but we got carried away by thinking we could just easily waltz into the 2015 finals.

No, this is a different ball game together and we need to believe in ourselves that we can do it.

Determination and purpose have been the hallmark of the Warriors in camp this whole week for the do-or-die encounter and we believe this is what it takes to overcome this 1-0 hurdle.

There have been many injuries in camp in the last two weeks, but that should not be used as an excuse for us not to fight until the fat lady sings.

What the Warriors need is the 12th man. And that 12th man is the football fan. Zifa have seen the light in this important factor and reduced gate charges for the rest of the ground to $2 and could even go down to a $1.

This is will enable as many people as possible to watch the match and should the fans number at least 30 000 or more, then a terrific atmosphere will engulf the National Sports
Stadium and spur the Warriors to victory.

We know the country has no money (civil servants do not know when their next payday is), so we just have to depend on the little that we have and that little is parting with $2 to support the national team.

As the Zifa Board meets today, they must ensure their deliberations focus on improving the welfare of the national team and not these petty fights about the referees committee that have nothing to do with tomorrow’s match.

The Ministry of Sports also has to come to the party and ask Government to support the Warriors in whatever way they can to ensure a smooth camp. Zifa, like its mother Zimbabwe, is broke; everybody knows that and criticising it will not bring a bag of money from the bush.

Every time there is a Warriors match; there is a Parliamentary Committee that wants to summon Zifa to the august House. The committee asks Zimplats to donate kits to their social football team and never asks the same company to donate to the Warriors.

This attitude of criticising and never offering solutions must end. Armchair critics need to zip up if they do not have anything positive to say about the Warriors and Zifa.

We need to come together and forge ahead in unison. Football, or any sport, in the world is meant to unite and not divide. Let’s bury our differences and support the national team tomorrow. They need us.