THE Zimbabwe national football team, the Warriors, set a new low when they bowed out of the ongoing African Nations Championships in Cameroon without a win or even a draw, with only one goal to their name in three matches.
It was one of the worst performances this country has ever seen since independence from our beloved Warriors, a team whose fortunes can uplift or sink the nation’s mood. Zimbabweans are not a parochial people when it comes to their national team, but at a time the country needed upliftment, the Warriors were found wanting.
And the national team coach, Croat Zdravko Logarusic says it’s not his fault. Not his fault when the boys went from hunting for the top gong in the land of the Indomitable Lions turned into nyama yekugocha for the opposition?
Logarusic now looks more of a tourist than a serious football coach.
Of course, when things fail to go according to the plan, the easiest thing is to point fingers and blame each other for failure. With all fingers pointing to his shortcomings, the Croat leapt to his defence and laid the blame on the clueless Zifa board, led by Felton Kamambo.
“To go into the tournament without proper preparation, with the players who have not been in the football for so long, result is not something that is special in the circumstances.
“Some people will think that we could have done better but we have to be realistic at times.”
Really? If that was the case, he should have taken a professional decision to step aside. Take Norman Mapeza’s example. The former Chippa United coach was close to joining Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, but backed down.
“[It was] just a professional decision. I thought I couldn’t build a team under three weeks which was going to compete to my liking,” Mapeza said at the time.
So, yes, if Loga took the decision to accept the challenge to lead the team to a tournament, we expected the team to be competitive, not play like lambs to the slaughter.
We are not excusing the ineptitude shown by the football governing body, Zifa, but it is cowardice for Loga to throw his hands in the air and point fingers at others.
Loga’s duty was to provide direction, motivate the players and provide them with positive energy to make sure that they remain committed towards a single goal — achieving the desired results.
Bad leaders always find someone to blame, we see this terrible trait mostly in our political leaders daily, and we never expected it of the Warriors coach, but we remind Loga that great leaders take ownership of results and find solutions. This is lacking in him as a coach and there definitely is no trust between him and the supporters.
Zifa have not helped the matter either, they have been a shame to football as they have contributed immensely to the falling of our game.
Since the Kamambo-led executive took over the reins at 53 Livingstone House, power squabbles at the expense of the development of the game has been the order of the day. It is high time those in the echelons of power at Zifa introspect and direct their efforts for the good of the beautiful game.
As the old adage goes: “Success and failure are two sides of the same coin.” Our dice has fallen on the failure side and calls for serious measures to be taken to correct the situation.