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Date: 22 April 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Warriors poor funding has little to do with Asiagate

[Posted 12 Apr 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu- Editorial Comment]
Warriors poor funding has little to do with Asiagate

Contrary to insinuations and suggestions by the Zimbabwe Football Association board members that Asiagate has solely hurt sponsorship dreams, we submit that the challenges of attracting funding for the Warriors have much to do with an image of poor organisation, lack of accountability and poor planning on the part of the ZIFA Board, past and present. It has little to do with Asiagate.

Zifa has over the years suffered from chronic maladministration challenges, poor planning and organisation, something which no sponsor will want to be associated with.

What is worse, every Zifa board that comes into office behaves like a political party full of politicians who live in denialism of the reality they face because they have to put up faces, even when they have capacity problems which lead to the problems highlighted above.

As soccer fans and stakeholders, we would love to applaud ZIFA for the great efforts to "clean-up" our game of the dross called match-fixing.

While this may be important, we are afraid, the Zifa board is ill-equipped to properly and successfully drive the process for a good number of reasons, with the result that the national team preparations for major tournaments are suffering...and Zifa can now safely blame Asiagate for its failures, when, and mark my wordsnot if, the Warriors fail to qualify for the AFCON 2013 and the World Cup.

Have I suddenly become a pessimist! Never! I am an eternal Optimist. Yet sometimes one has to separate dreaming from reality. Reality comes from what you make of your dreams,including adequately working towards making those dreams a reality.

Tell me if you see anything in the actions of ZIFA which suggests that we are adequately working towards qualifying for the 2013 AFCON in South Africa, or better still, qualifying for the World Cup in Brazilin 2014?

Our priorities are not in the right places, they are totally misplaced. Just consider the coaching situation of the national soccer team, less than two months away from three taxing international matches (that 2 World Cup qualifiers and 1 AFCON return leg=all in the month of June 5-15)      

There is a bit of confusion with regard to coaching matters,with Zifa maintaining that despite the fact that substantive coach Norman Mapeza might have been cleared by the Ethics' Committee (if he will be cleared), Gumbo will take charge of all the matches in June.

What is worrying is the fact that Gumbo has a full time job with Platinum Stars and is expected to double as Warriors coach. And those are two very demanding jobs for a man who failed to lead the Warriors against Burundi away (we can forgive him-he had limited time to prepare the team). Gumbo also failed to lead FC Platinum past El Merreikh of Sudan in the Champions League,suffering a humilating 5-2 aggregate loss.

Appointing a club coach to double as national team coach when you face a defining month in the World Cup and AFCON qualifiers certainly sounds like backward thinking on the part of ZIFA and smacks of either lack of seriousness or poor appreciation of the task at hand.

It is not clear what the board intends to achieve. Gumbo will not be able to do a decent job while wearing two hats. It has not worked in the past and there is no reason to believe it will work now.

The Zimbabwean Castle Lager PSL season has just started. Gumbo is expected to apply his mind to FC Platinum, ensuring that they win the league title which he lost against  Calisto  Pasuwa of Dynamos.

At the same time Gumbo is expected to deal with the difficult task of selecting Warriors players who should camp shortly after the end of the European and South African soccer seasons for the hectic June schedule.

Something is surely going to fall through the cracks and we will return to our familiar phrase in Zimbabwe- "Back to the drawing board" after we fail to qualify for the AFCON and World Cup.

Our opponents in our World Cup group Egypt and Guinea are busy with friendly match preparations during April, while all that we can talk about is Asiagate.

Zifa must realise they will never be remembered, contrary to what they choose to think and believe, for their role in their much vaunted "cleansing of our national game" mission. Boards and FAs world over are remembered for the success of their senior national teams on the field of play,not much of boardroom activities .

A balance must be struck between efforts to 'clean up the game' and achievements on the field of play.

While Zifa's efforts to 'clean up the game' are commendable, the reasons for the failure of Zimbabwean teams between 2006 and 2012 has very little to do with match-fixing.

The major challenge with many Zifa boards has been poor planning and poor organisation which has kept funders and sponsors away from the game.

There is money for sports in Zimbabwe, and it is a fallacy that all this money which is going to clubs as well as female soccer is not finding its way to the Warriors because of the Asiagate scandal.

NO! Please guys at the Zifa House, wake up and smell the coffee!

Sponsors are not yet convinced that there is good planning and good organisation in the board which is directly reponsible for the Warriors. They are not yet convinced that there is any honour and mileage which they can derive from associating themselves with the board in general.

Thats the reason why Marange Diamonds would pour in millions of US$ into female soccer and not the Warriors. It has  very little to do with Asiagate, I submit.   

The sooner Zifa understands this,the better for our football, particularly the Warriors' preparation for the forthcoming 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil and the 2013  AFCON return leg in June.

Lets  hear your views on the matter on or . 




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