IT still sounds like a joke that the Mighty Warriors only received $5 and 15 each for those who stay locally and those living outside Harare respectively to take them home after arriving from Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games.
INSIDESPORT WITH MICHAEL KARIATI
How the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) could come up with such a decision still boggles the mind.
That insulting gesture belittled the Mighty Warriors who gave their all against world class opposition such as Germany, Canada and Australia and scoring against all of them in the process.
The Mighty Warriors were placed in what was the most difficult group at the women’s football competition at the Games.
Germany went on to reach the finals and proceeded to win the gold medal, while Canada claimed bronze.
What’s more depressing is the fact that, the same Mighty Warriors who we mistreated after their return from Rio will soon be expected to regroup after their qualification for the 2016 Africa Women’s Championships to be held in Cameroon in November.
What happened on that August 12 afternoon should force the sports authorities to have a look at the role of ZOC and the way they operate.
While it is the duty of ZOC to promote the Olympic Games in the country, some Zimbabweans were not aware that there were any Olympic Games taking place at all, until the day the Mighty Warriors played Germany.
ZOC did virtually nothing to promote the Games or drum up support from Zimbabweans to rally behind our representatives.
Right now, mobile phones for most senior ZOC senior officials are not reachable, and have not been for some time now. The conclusion is that they are in Rio de Janeiro on ZOC “business”.
The question is: If the whole office goes to the Olympics, who then takes care of the other tasks back at home?
This is what has become typical of Zimbabwean sports administrators. They are in the game not for what they can offer to the sport, but for the benefits that the game offers.
How many times have we seen more officials than athletes and members of the technical team travelling with the national teams on international assignments?
What is surprising is that despite the embarrassment that the $5 and $15 matter caused to Zimbabwe as a nation, the issue has been swept under the carpet as if nothing at all happened.
In other countries, such actions would have been a big scandal to force immediate resignation of the entire leadership of the sports body in question.
In other nations a thorough investigation would have been instituted on how a national team could be left stranded in the city centre to look for their own transport home after representing the nation at the world’s biggest sporting showcase.
However, both the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Sport minister Makhosini Hlongwane have been quiet on that matter.
If the SRC and the ministry cannot act on such a high level of poor sports administration, then what are they in office for? Maybe, there is something they know which we don’t.
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