Warriors inquest begins

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA IN CAIRO, EGYPT

ZIFA president Felton Kamambo has blamed the players and technical team for the Warriors’ embarrassing exit from the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament and it is highly-likely that Sunday Chidzambga and his lieutenants will lose their jobs.

The technical staff had been set a target of reaching at least the quarter-finals of the tournament, but they crushed out at the initial stages leaving Egypt having scored a solitary goal over three matches and a single point.

“I take the blame and I think in the near future we need to approach the games differently,” Chidzambga said addressing the media following the DRC defeat.

The 4-0 capitulation – – when a win would have all but guaranteed passage to the next round – – at the hands of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has drawn fire from the public.
The Zifa boss was also not amused.

Kamambo feels the team’s poor performance at the tournament in Egypt was a consequence of a collective loss of focus by the whole group, following several spates between Zifa and the
players over monetary issues.

He said the players concentrated more on matters off the pitch yet they should have concerned themselves more on doing their primary duties.
“The Warriors were involved in politics instead of playing football on the pitch. They let the nation down,” he said.

Some people have blamed Zifa for failing to handle financial issues over the course of the tournament with players threatening to boycott matches.

By Friday last week each player had been paid US$17 500 with an outstanding balance of US$6 500 and the players threatened not to fulfill their must win match against the DRC until the
balance was settled.

China-based striker Nyasha Mushekwi intervened and promised to pay out all the balances from his own pocket and with that promise the Warriors returned to training.
However, they were to produce their worst performance at the tournament, suffering the heaviest defeat of this edition.

The Warriors have never gone beyond the group stage of the tournament since their maiden appearance in Tunisia in 2004. Two years ago in Gabon, they were winless managing only a 1-1
draw against Algeria.

This time around they have managed a point following another 1-1 draw against Uganda, having lost 1-0 to Egypt.

The 4-0 hammering by the DRC marked the end of their interest in this tournament. The Warriors arrived at the tournament with a lot of promise, seeking to reach the quarter-finals for
the first time.

They left with their tails between their legs after mustering just that single point against Uganda in a match that they should have won comfortably.

While some of the players will be pondering their futures, it is almost given that Zifa will wield the axe on Chidzambga and his assistants Rahman Gumbo, Lloyd Mutasa and Brenna Msiska.

Chidzambga has never been a favourite of the Kamambo administration and there were some overtures to axe him soon after the new board took office following elections in December last
year.

And after failing the set targets, Chidzambga knows what is coming, however, with over US$30 000 in his nostro account he should be comfortable for a while.

10 Comments

  1. Martin Marufu

    The body language of the entire team told it all from the first whistle. I went to sleep hoping that we would be whopped 5 nil. Did the coaches ever the comfort of their seats at any time during the match. At least not during the first half that I had the agony to witness.

  2. No single reason causes an accident but a culmination of events, ZIFA has a trail of not being professional enough with the beautiful game that is soccer – when you find players resorting to last-minute boycott something is fundamentally wrong, if Kamambo does not know it then he is a wrong man at the job blaming the players alone is missing the point and being irresponsible.

  3. No single reason causes an accident but a culmination of events, ZIFA has a trail of not being professional enough with the beautiful game that is soccer – when you find players resorting to last-minute boycott something is fundamentally wrong, if Kamambo does not know it then he is a wrong man at the job blaming the players alone is missing the point and being irresponsible. So if it wasnt of Nyasha Mushekwi’s generosity the fixture would have been abandoned!

  4. Chen Chikezha

    Zifa cannot push the blame, they are in it together especially them. The off field politics is because you lied that you had given the players contracts. If there were contracts and they had been full filled we would not have had off field politics. There is no scapegoats as none wants to work for free. They become like civil servants once on the field of play donning the national team jersey so you as employer you are to blame for causing off the field politics.

  5. Lets stop lying. A win would not have guaranteed them of progression. Remember Uganda had 4 points already and a plus 2 GD. Zim had 1 point and a -2 GD. If Zim had won 1-0 or 2-1 they would not have qualified.They would still be -1 GD. Uganda at 0 GD.

    1. Petros Magomazi

      They would have qualified as the 4 top third placed teams also qualified.

    2. zvebhora zvirikure nemei kkkkk

  6. We Zimbos are very good at counting loses. We are never proactive

  7. The problem started when politician said they are doing a fundraising for the team, With all those pledges made ZIFA went to sleep. I m yet to hear anyone ask how much was raised and how much was paid to the players? Our problem is we want results for things we never invested in as a country, Football pay 6% to government for every event under their auspices, but we have stadiums that have been condemned by PSL and CAF!!!! We dont tell each other the truth.

  8. I personally agree with you Mr LKJ. For sure ZIFA was not supposed to rely on pledges by politicians. Moreso the technical requires a complete overhaul

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