HomeSportSoccerZimunya and Co must stop clowning

Zimunya and Co must stop clowning

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ZIMBABWEAN football is in a great mess, no doubt, and with no government funding coming in, it will remain in this state for a long time to come or further deteriorate.

The Warriors — Zifa’s flagship — are again missing from the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) jamboree that started in the Equatorial Guinea on Saturday, featuring 16 nations, and with it the rewards that come with mere qualification.

The eventual champions to emerge on February 8 in Bata will earn $1,5 million while the finalists will get $1 million and the other two semi-finalists cashing in $750 000 each.

The quarter-finalists are each guaranteed $600 000.

The third-placed teams in each of the first round groups will pocket
$500 000, while the bottom teams get $400 000 each. This means for just qualifying a nation is guaranteed $400 000.

All the 16 teams at Afcon are funded by their governments, in addition to corporate and technical support. Unfortunately, that is not so for the Warriors and the rest of the national junior teams, who are heading into the Olympic and All-Africa Games qualifiers without even a cent from government.

So when we are faced with such problems, we need solutions to the game and not jokes from Francis Zimunya and Paddington Japajapa, whose only obsession is not the national game and its revival, but the person of Cuthbert Dube, the Zifa president.

We have never said Dube is the best president that Zifa has ever had. No! Even a simple check in the last decade shows a sharp decline in leadership that was only smothered by the Warriors’ qualification for the 2006 and 2008 Afcon finals.

If Zimunya and his friends, some who might even sue him for dragging their names into the mud, want the national game to prosper, they must bring solutions, not accusations and personal fights. And this being a democratic nation, we can listen to them, but their views have to remain within levels of sanity.

If it were people like Trevor Carelse-Juul, Vincent Pamire or Rafik Khan complaining, perhaps we would lend an ear, but proven failures are not an option at this stage.

Trying to force a minister to disband Zifa (where Fifa will respond with a ban) based on personal fights, is not the solution.The minister has spoken much, and did little.

Part of the solution is funding for the various national teams because even Fifa admitted that Zifa’s biggest debts come from servicing national teams.

Once government is prepared to fund, at least the senior national team, the burden will be less on Zifa, and perhaps, with a bit of some luck, focus will be on getting the best players to take Zimbabwe to Afcon 2017.

Zimunya and Japajapa should be telling us that they have found a corporate sponsor for Under-23 coach Kalisto Pasuwa and his players when they play in the Olympic and All-Africa Games qualifiers.

They should be telling us, with the sponsorship they have secured, they want football fans to support the team during these qualifiers with the bigger eye on Afcon 2017.

They should be petitioning Sports minister Andrew Langa and his Finance counterpart Patrick Chinamasa to release money for the national teams.

Clowning, personal fights, quarrelling, grudges, unfortunately will not bring us the results we require as a nation and we shall continue, for example, watching Afcon finals from the sidelines and sending police officers and not a football team.

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