BY FARIRAYI KAHWEMBA
FORMER Warriors midfielder Edelbert Dinha has called out the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to end its impasse with Zifa to enable the Warriors to participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers starting next month.
Zimbabwe has been suspended by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) over government interference in Zifa issues and the ban means the Warriors could miss out on the Afcon qualifiers if the suspended board members led by Felton Kamambo are not reinstated.
The warring parties have two weeks to sort themselves out before the Warriors are kicked out of the qualifiers where they are billed to compete with Morocco, South Africa and Liberia for two places at the finals that will be hosted by Egypt.
Dinha called out football administrators to be transparent in financial dealings so that they can inspire the players’ confidence as well as that of the government and supporters.
The former Warriors defender said it would be a bitter pill to swallow if the Warriors were to fail to participate in the Afcon
The SRC, led by Gerald Mlotshwa, is unlikely to reverse its decision after Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry pointed out that the allegations of misappropriation of public funds and sexual harassment should be tested before the courts.
Dinha, who first made a name for himself at Darryn T before moving to Caps United and later to South Africa where he played for Ajax Cape Town, Seven Stars, Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces, said he was unsettled by the prospect of the Warriors missing out on the Afcon.
The 49-year-old, who is now a football agent for Shumba Sports Management in South Africa, urged football authorities in Zimbabwe, the government and all stakeholders to work towards normalising the administration of the
“It is sad (the prospect of missing out on Afcon), but the SRC also wants to see order at Zifa and that is why they went ahead with the suspension,” Dinha said.
“At the end of the day, football administrators and the SRC must sit down and fix whatever needs to be fixed so that the people of Zimbabwe can enjoy watching their team playing in major tournaments.”
Dinha, who was part of the 2006 Warriors team that competed at Afcon in Egypt, said the current state of local football administration also needed urgent attention.
“Players competing at international level need to know that the national association is financially healthy. Players are more committed and are likely to perform to the best of their ability when they know that Zifa is behind them financially and
“Every player wants to play for their national team, but not knowing how much is set aside for winning games and advancing to the next stage of a competition, for example, can be a stumbling block to them.
“Zimbabwean football definitely needs to be fixed because how do we expect the players to be fully committed to their country when they read about these serious allegations against Zifa?
- Follow us on Twitter@NewsDayZimbabwe