Gidiza rues lost opportunity


Former Warriors midfielder Ronald “Gidiza” Sibanda believes Zimbabwe missed an opportunity to do well at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals considering the quality that coach Sunday Chidzambga had at his disposal.


Sibanda said money issues that stalked the whole campaign until it came to an end with a 4-0 defeat against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), been sorted out before the tournament, the Warriors could have landed elsewhere than their Group A bottom place finish where they ended with a single point.
Zimbabwe lost to Egypt in the opening match before the draw against Uganda, while the DRC match rounded off their dismal campaign.
Fans are still to come to terms with the Warriors’ below par show where they were expected to win.

Sibanda is among those that are mourning the lost opportunity to finally play in the knockout stages at the finals.

He said it was also not right for players to refuse to train and threaten match boycotts.

“The issue of player payments must be talked about before we go for a tournament. But I don’t think it is fair that we go to Cosafa, to Nigeria and then to Egypt and start saying we are not going to train,” Sibanda said.

“Of course, players should be paid. Zifa should have made those arrangements prior to travelling to Egypt. They should have said to the players this is what we are offering and come up with contracts. On that part, Zifa is not taking things seriously. I thought we had the best team at Afcon, but some of things make the boys lose focus.”
Former Warriors striker Agent Sawu said the players lost focus.

“We played well in the two first games, but only came short in finishing. If we had converted our chances, we could be talking something else. We did not come to the party in the last game. But football is played inside the field of play and outside. There are certain aspects which affect the game and those are the administrators. From what I have been reading, there were problems outside,” Sawu opined.

Some people have blamed coach Sunday Chidzambga and his assistants, but another ex-Warriors star, George Mbwando has placed blame on administration.

He believes the preparations were not the best, despite the team going into camp for almost a month where they played two friendlies against Nigeria and Tanzania following participation at the Cosafa Cup.

“The Warriors technical team is not to blame at all,” he said.

“There are so many things being mixed with football that do not mix with football at all. They (Zifa) always promise during their campaigns and when they are in power it’s the same song. We had a couple of months to prepare for the tournament after qualifying, but as usual everything is always done at the last minute?” Mbwando said, adding: “What really can the technical team do with a team with so many problems during a tournament?”