HomeEditorialsLet’s work on Afcon bid

Let’s work on Afcon bid

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ZIMBABWE will finally bid for the hosting rights of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals and are expected to submit their papers a week from today.

NewsDay Editorial

This is no small task, considering other countries are also interested in hosting the football showcase.

Ghana has already appointed a bid committee that has already been working and comprises six former national team players and eight former chairmen of the Ghana Football Association.

On the contrary, the Zimbabwe bid is being fronted by politicians — namely Sports minister Andrew Langa and Tourism minister Walter Mzembi.

But the Confederation of African Footbal (Caf) does not work with politicians.

It works with member football associations and in Zimbabwe’s case, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).

This is in line with thinking around the world that politicians should have nothing to do with sport administration.

By getting the nod from President Robert Mugabe, the politicians have already done their bit; now the real job must return to Zifa. The starting point would be for Zifa to bring in Zimbabwean football experts into this committee and these are abundant. When called upon to make suggestions, Zimbabweans will only be too willing to do so.

Time is already running out with only seven days in which to come up with the document to be presented to Caf. It might be necessary to engage a consultancy to compile the document.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The South African Football Association has successfully bade and hosted the Afcon — they could help Zifa.

On another sporting note, the Bulawayo community is grateful that Mugabe has made it clear that the City of Kings will host the African Union Sports Council Region Five Games in December despite opposition from some who wanted the Games to be moved to Harare.

More often than not, a whole lot of politicians lie to impress the President.

In fact, the President is surrounded by a whole train of hangers-on who will do anything to line up their pockets instead of doing something that benefits the nation.

The major reason for hosting events worldwide is infrastructural improvements in underdeveloped areas of a country.

The continental football body says: “Caf also used a similar philosophy in choosing past Nations Cup hosts, favouring countries with little infrastructure so that stadiums, training pitches and centres for players are built because of the incentive of hosting a major tournament.”

One of the reasons some misguided people wanted the Games to go to Harare was the issue of tenders that would be awarded for developments and building of some venues.

That is why, last week, there were revelations in Parliament that a supermarket had won a tender to supply hospital equipment!

Corruption was just at the root of that call to move Games to Harare and we are happy that the President shamed the hawks in his party by stating that the Games would be staged in Bulawayo and funds would be made available as a matter of urgency.

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