ZIFA presidential aspirant Felton Kamambo has held the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) leadership responsible for the Warriors’ defeat to Liberia in an African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at the weekend, arguing the team was ill-prepared for the assignment.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Kamambo, a former Zifa board member, is challenging incumbent Philip Chiyangwa in the Zifa presidential elections scheduled for December 1.
Although his application has been disqualified, he is fighting his disqualification.
He has since written to the world soccer governing body (Fifa) in a bid to have the disqualification set aside.
The Warriors made the trip to Monrovia needing at least a draw to secure qualification for the biennial Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon in June next year with one game to spare.
However, their hosts derailed the Warriors’ dream after their skipper William Jebor scored in the twilight of the game, leaving Zimbabwe with all to do in the final qualifying match against Congo-Brazzaville at home.
Kamambo felt the Zifa leadership and its secretariat did not plan meticulously for the crucial match, arguing they were more concerned with elections than anything else.
He said the Zifa leadership diverted its focus when it usurped the responsibility of the Electoral Committee.
The former Zifa board member argued that had the football mother body’s leadership and its secretariat focused their energies on the preparations for the match, the Warriors could have wrapped up the campaign.
“The biggest undoing for the Warriors was ill-preparedness. Zifa simply did not invest in preparations for the match. Had the leadership and its secretariat put their effort in preparing the team, we could have won that match,” he said.
“The team was supposed to been in Liberia some days before for them to acclimatise with the environment, but because their [Zifa leadership] focus was on elections, preparations were poor.”
Zimbabwe, which still lead Group G with eight points, now need to win their last match at home against Congo-Brazzaville to sail through as group winners.
They can, however, still qualify if they manage a draw.
In the worst case scenario, they can also qualify in the event of a defeat provided the other encounter between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia ends in a stalemate.