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Date: 23 September 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Cloud over Jambo's replacement of Costa in the Warriors

[Posted 25 May 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Cloud  over Jambo"s replacement of Costa in the Warriors

The Zimbabwe senior national soccer team has announced that Kaizer Chiefs left back Jimmy Jambo will replace Poland-based Costa Nhamoinesu in the Warriors team to face Mali in an Orange 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be played in Harare on 6 June.

Revelations are that Nhamoinesu might not have fully recovered from the injury which kept him out of the Mali tie in March, while it remains a possibility that he has picked up a new injury. Nothing appears clear and certain in the management of the Warriors these days.

If Costa has been injured since March and has been in rehabilitation all this time, then why would Warriors coach Norman Mapeza even bother calling him for the tie given his questionable match fitness levels?

Even if Costa's injury is a fresh injury, why would a national team go to the extent of including a player in the squad before establishing correct facts regarding the form and fitness of the player?

Now, we hear that the Dynamos left back Jimmy Jambo has been called in to replace Costa. The main reason why Jambo was not included in the team in the first place is because he has been injured at Chiefs and has not seen action for months.

What suddenly changed between the time Mapeza and his technnical team realised that Costa will not be available and now? Surely Jambo has not been playing at Chiefs, playing second fiddle to Punch Masenamela, even when he was not injured.

This raises questions on how the Warriors players are selected for matches. It appears that there is little if any research done on the current form and fitness levels of the players. 

Before the reverse Mali tie, Knowlege Musona was initially included in the squad despite his injury, and then clandestinely replaced by Musa Mguni, who it appeared later that he had not been properly consulted about his inclusion in the team. The result? Mguni excused himself from the squad.

Some have mourned that the management of our beloved Warriors has gone to the dogs, and they could be justified after all. What, with news that the team can not play a friendly match before the crunchy Mali tie, or hold even a camp at home.

How ZIFA runs out of ideas when it comes to management of national teams is amazing.

Surely there is a way of finding opposition to engage the Warriors and help them prepare for the matches, even if it means a friendly match against the Under 23 squad, who themselves are praparing for a crucial All-Africa games tie against South Africa in June.

One can not find fault in Mapeza for the Warriors' failure to arrange a friendly match, thats the role of the national association, but Mapeza's failure to do proper research before calling players for national duty is too glaring to go unnoticed or challenged.

ZIFA is playing with millions of Warriors' fans' emotions, and the fans continue to have faith and hope that their beloved Warriors still have a chance to qualify for the 2012 AFCON finals. 

Reality check.

The Malians who have better chances to qualify for the 2012 Afcon finals, are camping in Bamako, and will continue camping in South Africa a week before the tie with Zimbabwe at the National Sports Stadium. Thats two weeks of thorough preparations.

Mali has players who play for top teams in France, Spain and other parts of the great footballing world, and their conditioning is always expected to be better than that of most of our players who compete in leagues like Cyprus, Belgium, Australia, Denmark and South Africa.

Zimbabwe has arrogantly, maybe ignorantly, announced that they will only be meeting for four days to prepare for the Mali tie at home. What a stark contrast!

Qualifiying for the 2012 finals under these circumstances, if one has to be honest, is akin to hoping against hope, yet to the mind and heart of a loyal Warriors fan, miracles remain possible and the flame of hope is not yet extinguished. 

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