SO Zifa president Cuthbert Dube has finally bitten the bullet and appointed Norman Mapeza as the substantive head coach of the senior soccer team?
While we welcome his move to appoint a coach on a permanent basis, we still feel Dube has many questions to answer with regards to the national team project.
Why did he take so long to employ a full time coach? Who was causing all this commotion in the Warriors?
If Mapeza was the right choice from the start, why did Dube make overtures to appoint Belgian Tom Saintfiet? Where to now for the Warriors who have had to endure different coaches in a short space of time?
The questions need to be addressed as the new dispensation moves forward. The dissension in the Zifa board must be addressed forthwith as it reflects badly on the ability of Dube. He should whip into line some of his board members who make conflicting statements with regards to national projects. We are not asking Dube to be a dictator though.
While Dube read from Genesis, it so happens that some of his board members read from another book, sending out dangerous signals. There were times when regionalism was suspected in the Warriors set up.
For God’s sake, the Warriors are a national project and everyone is free to contribute. Villagers from as far afield as Muzarabani, Mundanda, Tsholotsho, Kanyemba, Siyakobvu, Mukore and Marirangwe have a stake in the Warriors because soccer is the country’s most popular sport. We are all the Warriors.
It is in this regard that competent people must be chosen to lead such important institutions for they represent the aspirations of a nation.
For the record, Reinhard Fabisch’s Dream Team featured no less than three quarters of players from the southern region of the country but no one raised issues such as regionalism because the players from that region at that time were brilliant enough to represent Zimbabwe. The Dream Team was our national team, period.
Dube must deal decisively with elements who want to divide our team on regional basis. He must silence such dangerous elements who want to divide our country.
As Mapeza steps into the big shoes, people must give him the necessary support because we believe he is being guided by national principles. Mapeza must choose the best players to represent our country regardless of where they come from. Zifa board members, including Dube, must stop interfering with the selection process of national team players and ask Mapeza to be accountable.
Instead of shepherding Mapeza, these board members must expend their energies on getting sponsorship for the Warriors and other national teams. It was so embarrassing to watch in horror our team parading a “totemless” kit while at the 2011 African Nations Championships in Sudan.
Are we not good enough to attract brands such as Puma or Reebok? How about Adidas that was extended to all national associations by the Confederation of African Football?
All that is needed is for people to be more serious and focus on core issues rather than peripheral issues that are counter productive.