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ZIFA's ill-advised bid for 2015 World Cup and its implications

[Posted 16 Mar 2011]
[By BeezSports Football Analyst]
ZIFA"s ill-advised bid for  2015 World Cup and its implications

The failed attempt by the Zimbabwe Football Association to bid for the FIFA Women's 2015 World Cup was ill-advised to say the least, and it may have repercussions not only for  football, but for other sporting disciplines.

ZIFA have since advised FIFA of their decision to withdraw the country's candidature as a bidding nation, just a few months after its bid was confirmed by the world mother governing body.

It is not clear what ZIFA intended to achieve when the board entered the country into the fray to seek the rights to host the women's premier global soccer event.

That ZIFA acknowledged that the country's infracture was " the barest minimum to host the event" even tta the time of bidding, adds further confusion as to the wisdom of entering the country's bid, only to withdraw it within less than a month.

International media was given cheap field day to attack the country and ridicule it, right from the day ZIFA embarked on the crazy and ill-conceived idea to host the world cup in 2015.

Someone might ask, "What is wrong with being ambitious and with throwing in a bid which has potential to spruce up the image of the country and boost tourism?"

Well, the answer is certainly that there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, but zeal without knowledge and the necessary planning required to transform a dream from just being a pipedream can prove to be disastrous in terms of image.

The major shortcoming with the manner ZIFA handled the bidding process is that the nation's soccer governing mother body did not have all its ducks in a row before entering the country into the bid hat to host a major event such as a Women's Soccer World Cup. 

The bid was prematurely conceived and forwarded to FIFA. There was no evidence of some kind of consultation by ZIFA, and the bid was doomed for failure because there was no application of minds and planning which preceded the impulsive entering of the bid.

The result is that the image of the nation was left seriously bruised and any future bidding at football level, seriously compromised.

Matters of bidding to host events are not individual ZIFA members' personal domestic affairs which require limited consultation.

These are matters which touch on national interests. The soccer loving family and the government and potential sponsors must have been sufficiently consulted before entering the nation into the bidding hat.

ZIFA must have known better. The country is still mired in damaging match-fixing scandal, and the jury is still out on whether ZIFA has handled the matter in the best way possible to avoid throwing the name of our football into the mud.

The Sports and Recreation Commission has the duty and obligation to investigate the manner in which ZIFA handled the issue of bidding of the 2015  FIFA Women World Cup, and its attendant consequences on the image of the country, at a time when the nation is fighting many devils of negative perceptions on many fronts.   

This must be done with a view to learn lessons to better guide  future conduct with respect to bidding.

The SRC probably needs to come up with some kind of a protocol or policy with respect to bidding for hosting international sporting events.

Stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority should be consulted when coming up with a relevant policy or protocol on hosting major international events.

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