Letters: Bring our football back home

All these shenanigans must stop. Kirsty Coventry is sitting on her laurels and does not have the spine to call a spade a spade.

FOR the first time in the history of Zimbabwean football, we have played our home games away from home, thousands of kilometres away just because we have failed to put our house in order by fixing the National Sports Stadium.

It seems we have a tendency of waiting to fix things until the situation goes out of control or hand.

Such a lackadaisical approach when it comes to national issues has become a thorn in the flesh.

This is so embarrassing for a country like Zimbabwe, where we boast of being the most educated country in Africa.

I am just imagining how much revenue we lost when we played our home game in Rwanda.

Those small business entrepreneurs which sell roasted groundnuts, cold beverages, as well as cashiers, those in the transport industry, takeaways would have made a killing if that game had been played inside our own hunting ground.

Our football association must pull up its socks or else we will be pushovers whenever we go for international games.

Zifa was told long back to put its house in order. The problem has been recurring for a long time.

At one time, Zimbabwe was given a chance to host the Africa Cup of Nations finals, but we blew the chance as the inspectors told Zifa that the football pitches were not up to Fifa standards.

Instead of the government  supporting the sport, it interferes with the administration of sport.

Some powerful politicians know that football is a cash cow and their desire is to milk the sport dry.

They try to place their relatives in powerful positions, people who have completely no knowledge of football.

All these shenanigans must stop. Kirsty Coventry is sitting on her laurels and does not have the spine to call a spade a spade.

Surely how can we be a football powerhouse when our home games are played in Rwanda, leaving the supporters jumping from one link to another in order to follow the match live on social media.

We need to give a facelift to our National Sports Stadium to make it a world-class football arena.

We must erect bucket seats as quickly as possible. Not only at the National Sports Stadium, but at all our major grounds.

We have the capacity to do so, but a lot of time is spent playing political games at the expense of the world’s most beautiful game.

We lack grassroots football developing institutions. Football is serious business, but our government chooses to spend millions on buying expensive cars for chief executive officers while the sport is suffering.

A lot of talent is going down the drain each year. Promising youngsters are now spending their time abusing alcohol and drugs. They have given up on the sport.

Coaches and former players are leaving the country because there is no future in coaching or playing football in Zimbabwe.

The likes of the late Rahman Gumbo, George Chigova, Francis Shonhayi, Peter Ndlovu, Madinda Ndlovu, just to mention a few, chose to ply their trade in foreign land.

Developing the game is a continuous process. We still have some yawning gaps which are yet to be filled.

We have a problem of not having serious powerful people in Cabinet, who have the appetite to champion football development matters.

Football is a lucrative sport and source of employment for young people, so we need to take it seriously.

We need to expand our football horizons to rural areas and tame raw talent which is lying idle.

We need to breed a new crop of football leaders who have football at heart, not leaders who are just eyeing to line their pockets.

We are being let down by lack of leadership. We have the capacity as a country to build at least one multi-million-dollar stadium in each of our 10 provinces, but nothing is being done.

Go Warriors go!

Leonard Koni


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