Zifa should let football be the ultimate winner

IT HAS been over a month since the new Zifa board was elected into office and the chorus of disapproval has since died down.

The draw for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations  (Afcon) qualifiers has taken place and Warriors coach Ian Gorowa has agreed to stay with the national team until at least next February.

And Zifa will soon be appointing a technical director and hopefully a highly qualified one who can invest his time in the development of football coaches from the area zones through National Association of Primary Heads (Naph) and National Association of Seconday Heads (Nash) to national level.

Are these signs that something fresh is coming from this new board? Five people will be critical in driving this new vision —Bernard Gwarada, Omega Sibanda, Tawengwa Hara, Twine Phiri and Mirriam Sibanda.

What is needed is strengthening the secretariat to ensure that they implement decisions made by the board and not the other way round. Jonathan Mashingaidze should know that building bridges should be the theme to drive him in the next four years.

That way corporate confidence could be restored and the very fact that last week his boss Cuthbert Dube said his [Mashingaidze] problems with Gorowa should be resolved and let the game be the winner, should be the new thrust.

It will not be easy to regain corporate confidence, but the world out there needs to see signs, especially its critics, the government and Fifa.
There is a Fifa congress in Brazil that will be attended by Dube, Mashingaidze and Gwarada, who is in charge of the Zifa finances before the World Cup begins in Brazil on June 12.

It is here that the world football governing body will expect to hear progress from the Zimbabwean delegation on the strategic plan seeing that $500 000 is lying in wait for the construction of the new Zifa headquarters.

Fifa has been supportive of Zifa, but what has the association done in return? The Zifa Village has been handled well and the Financial Assistance Funds has been handled transparently. But can’t Zifa move beyond that and start having the Warriors at Afcon finals, develop better coaches and, in turn, players improve on their battered image and avoid unnecessary controversies?

We would like to believe that sooner or later, things will be better for Zifa if they stick to their mandate of properly managing the national game.

The game has been in the doldrums since 2006 – the last year the Warriors appeared in the Afcon finals and we need not look at that painful history, but what the future holds.

In Gorowa, we have an ambitious coach who is determined to make a name for himself and the country on the international stage. His visions must be matched by Zifa’s vision because, the national association is judged by the performance of its senior national team.

We can only achieve this if we work together and support the coach, the Zifa board and the efforts that government, through the Sports, Arts and Culture  ministry is doing to improve the game.

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