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Date: 27 July 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Of CECAFA participation, Zifa's ineptitude & Warriors' drop in rankings

[Posted 18 Jan 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
A comedy of errors at Zifa places the respected  Dube"s leadership ability on the spotlight

Zimbabwe's ill-advised participation at the Central and East African Senior Challenge Cup in December has come back to haunt Zimbabwe again, as the Warriors slipped a further four places down the ladder to now sit on 102 on the latest Fifa World rankings released on Wednesday 18 January 2012.

In November 2011, the Zimbabwe Football Association undertook an ill-advised decision to participate at the CECAFA tournament staged in Tanzania, with the full knowledge that the team was under-prepared to perform and that the bulk of Zimbabwean squad players of note from Dynamos and Motor Action were not going to be available.

Beezsports at the time warned against the rushed decision by ZIFA to send an ill-prepared team and the risk of dropping ranking points given the fact that at 70 at the time, the Warriors were going to the tournament as the highest ranked nation, and any defeat or even a draw would dent their reputation and ranking in world football.

"At position 70 in the world and 16 in Africa, Zimbabwe will go into the CECAFA Tusker Senior Challenge Cup as the top ranked nation, both in the world and in Africa. For that reason alone, a lot is at stake at the tournament for the Warriors than for any other team they will meet," the Beezsports article of the 23rd November warned.

As has become the norm, Zifa never listened to the free advice.

During the next rankings released on 21 December, and following damaging defeats by Rwanda (then ranked 114) and Uganda (then ranked 91), Zimbabwe shaded a whopping 108 points, droping 28 places down the table, tumbling like a falling star to position 98!

Now, a team that had 452 points in November 2011, just two months ago, now has a paltry 341 points and is languishing out of the top 100 ranked nations in the world to now sit on position 102!

Treacherous! Thats probably the best word to describe the manner the Zifa board members have presided over the deteriorating fortunes of the senior national soccer team, the Warriors.

And that team is supposed to be Zifa's biggest brand for heaven's sake.  

One thing is clear. Zifa has failed the Warriors and Zimbabwean soccer. What, with the shambolic preparations for matches which cost the Warriors maximum points in Praia against Cape Verde, when it was easier to qualify for the AFCON finals than any other time.

To show that Zifa's biggest challenge is not necessarily finances, but an inability to get organised and plan ahead, Zifa failed to simply notify clubs on time of their intention to make use of foreign-based stars against Botswana on 7 January , choosing to only do this the very week when the team was expected to travel to Gaborone.

Zifa also failed to organise a bus on time, and needed a good Samaritan of a local company to chip in and rescue the Warriors's participation in a match where all the other costs like accommodation were being taken care of by the hosts of the 7th January friendly, Botswana.

And the worst thing of all, the Zifa CEO then chooses to come out to defend Zifa's mess which is so clear for all to see.  Oh! What arrogance.

What kind of people work at Zifa really, and which school of governance and leadership do they come from? 

There is no better time for the nation to call for the Zifa board to shape up or ship out!!! There is serious doubt regarding their ability to take Zimbabwean soccer to the level where it belongs...among the best on the continent.

If Cuthbert Dube is out of the picture, his entire board fails to organise even a road trip to Gaborone!

While Dube's benevolence of bailing out the national team each time the board is in trouble due to poor planning is appreciated, the failure of his team does not in any way leave him untainted. They say, a team is only as strong as its weakest link. The problem at Zifa is that it is difficult to say which is not the weakest link.

Again, it is said, everything rises and falls on ultimate leadership of any organisation. Where does that leave my beloved Dube really?

It sounds cruel to say this about a man who is on record as saying that he has sacrificed his personal fortune to keep Zifa aflot, doesn't it?

You see, thats why it is a difficult thing to be a leader. If Dube wants to get value out of his investment at Zifa, then he MUST put his house in order!

Zimbabweans are tired of reading about his moaning over the ineptitude of his colleagues. As President, the buck stops with him. Period!

Dube needs to crack the whip on underperforming individuals in his Zifa board and not worst time issuing threats of action and soliciting for sympathy from fans and readers in the newpapers, by claiming that he is being failed by colleagues. Be decisive Chief!

Zimbabweans, Zimbabwean soccer and the Zimbabwean foreign-based and local Warriors deserve better leaders than this sorry excuse of a board that the current Zifa has reduced itself to.

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