HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsBlame Warriors’ early Afcon exit on Chiyangwa

Blame Warriors’ early Afcon exit on Chiyangwa


That the Zimbabwe national football team was abysmal and woeful at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is beyond doubt, they were tactically and technically exposed.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

 Philip Chiyangwa
Philip Chiyangwa

While the Warriors flattered to deceive in the first game against Algeria, their shortcomings were cruelly exposed by Senegal and Tunisia.

Let the inquests begin.

Questions should be asked on whether the coach was out of his depth, whether we had the right players and what the team’s preparations were.

Kalisto Pasuwa, as coach, will come in for severe criticism – and rightly so – but the real blame lies elsewhere, with Zifa and its president, Philip Chiyangwa.

Zimbabwe’s preparations were just wretched. From travelling to Malawi and Swaziland by road, to arriving in Guinea on the day of the match, even qualifying for this tournament was a miracle.

Preparations for the tournament itself were laughable. After being promised big friendly matches, Zimbabwe only had two games, one useless one and a fairly good one.

There was also the issue of the kit, which did not arrive until the tournament was well underway, something which will mean no one will take us seriously if we cannot get such basics right.

The fiasco over bonuses even made it worse, as the team went to the qualifiers with the wrong mind-set and not fully psychologically prepared, as the money issue clouded things and even put the Warriors’ travel plans in jeopardy.

It is not enough that Chiyangwa and Zifa eventually relented; the question is: Why did they allow such a standoff to develop in the first place?

The tell-tale signs of Zifa’s ineptitude have been there for all to see for a while, but many refused to acknowledge them.

The Mighty Warriors’ preparations were an even worse disaster, but many Zimbabweans, against all evidence, thought the men’s team would be treated better.

Maybe caught up in Chiyangwa’s self-praise of giving himself a 10 out of 10 for his first year in charge at Zifa, many failed to interrogate his achievements and failures and instead bought his narrative.

It is as if qualifying was an end in its self and the country could sit on its laurels and celebrate that achievement, which honestly should be a bare minimum.

Yes, Zimbabwe’s two national football teams qualified for grand tournaments, but more should have been done. Instead, the country only went to the tourneys to make up the numbers.

It is a pity that there is no culture of accountability in Zimbabwe because if there was, some of the bigwigs at Zifa would have handed in their resignation letters long before the final whistle in the match between the Warriors and Tunisia went.

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