The speculation on who wants which position in the hierarchy of the Zimbabwe Football Association is over.
Inside Sport by Michael Kariati
What now remains is for the football family to scrutinise what the candidates have to offer as solutions to Zimbabwe’s football problems.
It is very important that the football family desist from repeating the same mistakes, and instead ensure that the right people are thrust into office.
A lot has been happening and is happening behind the scenes, but the warning is that making wrong decisions this time around would reflect badly on Zimbabwe as a football nation.
What is required is for the Zifa Council to be spot-on in their decisions, especially on the Zifa president post, for that’s the person that will hold the key to the future of football in the next two years.
According to the list of non-presidential candidates released on November 5, the elections have attracted a line-up that represents a refreshing dimension to the Zimbabwean game and a handful who believe they still have something to offer.
The likes of Beadle Musa Gwasira, former Shooting Stars chairman Lewis Marindife, CAPS United boss Lewis Uriri and businessman Jackson Munyaka represent a new crop of leaders whose trademark is their youthfulness, energy, and vision.
Gwasira, the former Lengthens president and Premier Soccer League fixtures secretary, is already a councillor with the City of Harare.
The Zifa councillors are also spoilt for experience. Omega Sibanda, who was Cuthbert Dube’s vice and was suspended for resisting Dube’s way of governance, is seeking a return to office.
Former Dynamos chairman Lincoln Mutasa, Zimbabwe Beach Football chairperson Joseph Musariri and Musa Mandaza who has been a councillor for almost 10 years, all have served in various capacities in football.
There are others too, like regional chairman Piraishe Mabhena, who feels he can help Zifa operate efficiently.
Grouped together, all these represent a formidable team capable of turning around the fortunes of Zifa.
However, that is not the Zifa council’s most crucial decision. Coming up with the man to replace Dube will be the real test for the council. This is so mainly because of allegations of vote selling and buying.
Already, word is circulating that the Zifa councillors are receiving financial favours in return for their votes for the December 5 elections, and others have openly declared their votes for some candidates.
Unfortunately, the Sport and Recreation ministry continues to stand aloof while such things are going on in our football. If these are just allegations, as SRC director general Charles Nhemachena points out, now is the time for the councillors to prove all critics wrong by doing the right thing.
Derby loses glamour
Today, at Rufaro Stadium, Dynamos host CAPS United in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match which is seriously lacking the excitement or the glamour which in the past was associated with a game of such magnitude.
Such matches were the talk of the football family for the whole week, to the extent that even Grade One pupils would know that Dynamos were playing CAPS United. This week, however, it looks like the game is devoid of excitement.
Whether this is because the interest has been killed by the fact that Dynamos appear out of the running for the league title and that Caps United are also way down the pecking order, is not clear.
The truth is that there are other reasons for this none event, one of which is the low calibre of the players now turning out for these big clubs, and the drab encounters the fans are now being exposed to.
The derby has now become just an ordinary match as the skill of the past, the passion and the pride of wearing the green and white colours of CAPS United or the famous blue and white of Dynamos is long gone.
Those dribbling skills and darting runs from the likes of Edward Katswere or the pride of watching Stanley Ndunduma streak down the flanks are long gone.
Gone too is the winning spirit that was exhibited by the likes of Misheck Marimo and Shacky Tauro as they sought to outwit each other for the sake of the Glamour Boys or Makepekepe.
Not mentioning the battle for the direct midfield control that came from Joel Shambo and Stix Mtizwa on one hand, and the likes of Biggie Zuze and Kenneth Jere on the other hand.
There were other generations which also came along and carried the heavy mantle of maintaining that Harare derby spirit with distinction.
Watching Alois Bunjira, Stewart Murisa and Lloyd Chitembwe in the green CAPS United jersey and Tauya “The Flying Doctor” Murewa, Memory Mucherahowa, and Vitalis Takawira in those blue Dynamos colours stimulated debate and attracted huge crowds to stadiums.
Money was secondary to them as entertaining their fans and winning was their priority, with financial rewards coming as a bonus.
Today, the two clubs are filled with players who lack passion for the game, have no hunger for success, no team spirit, and above all, are only hungry for money and individual glory.
This has seen less and less attention on the Harare derby as less and less people are now going to the stadiums as they are avoiding mediocre displays.
Surely, that derby spirit is gone and so too is the glamour. What is now left are drab games which leave fans feeling cheated of their hard-earned money.
To be fair, today’s Harare derby is worth $1 and not $3!
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