insidesport with MICHAEL KARIATI
ZIMBABWE’S Warriors are through to the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup, courtesy of that hard-fought 3-1 win over little Somalia that came in the four minutes of added time.
It was not the best of performances by the Warriors, but one that still guaranteed that Zimbabwe qualified to fight for one of the five places that are reserved for Africa at the global football festival.go to Betway Insider and stay on top of everything about the sports world.
Surely, beating Somalia is like a man overcoming his younger brother in a mock wrestling contest and then gloat over it. The truth is that there is nothing really to show off about that win over Somalia, but the Warriors still have the time to prove what they are really made off.
That Zimbabwe had to thank an added time goal from Khama Billiat to sail through to the group stages is neither here nor there, but what is important is that the Warriors are there
where they belong — among the elite in African football.
The 2022 World Cup draw is still to be conducted, but the Warriors also have reigning Africa champions Algeria, Botswana and Zambia in the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to prove that they are still among the best in Africa despite the disappointing show at Afcon 2019.
The hero of the Somalia game, Billiat, has made it clear that he still misses his partnership with former Warriors captain Knowledge Musona and that is a fact that Zifa should bear in mind.
Where they are right now, Zimbabwe needs its best players and it does not matter whether that player is in good standing with the national football federation or not. The major stakeholders in the game of football are the spectators and what they want is to see the Warriors win every game irrespective of who plays.
On that premise, Zifa should not dictate to the coach as to whom he should select to play for the national team, but the coach should be given a free rein. Zifa should instead focus on their prime job, that is to ensure that the players have decent accommodation, and that their bonuses are available and, more importantly, that airfares for those coming from outside Zimbabwe are there.
The national football federation should not look at what happened in Egypt at the 2019 Afcon finals, but should focus on the future of Zimbabwe’s Warriors in the 2022 World Cup
qualifiers and what the future holds for Zimbabwean football as a whole.
It is a fact that Zifa under the leadership of Felton Kamambo has realised that the football controlling body does not have the money to pay the players huge bonuses, but at least the
association should be reasonable enough to increase what is on offer right now.
Most of the players in the national team do not need that RTGS$1 000 because they have more in their pockets already, but at least they need something to entice them to come back home
and play for their national team.
Zimbabwean football does not want to see a situation where players chosen do not want to come back home to play for the Warriors because they feel there is nothing to come back home
for. Surely, the players need something reasonable to leave behind for their relatives and friends when they go back to their bases after featuring for the Warriors.
Now that the Warriors are in the final qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, there are a lot of companies out there willing to associate themselves with such a venture and what is
needed is to approach them in time, and present a project that is acceptable to them.
There are a number of teams, among them, Honduras, Jamaica and Togo, who qualified for the World Cup finals when nobody expected them and Zimbabwe can do the same, but only if there
is change in the way we do our things.
That so-and-so did this in Egypt should be a thing of the past. Egypt is now history and what we should be focusing on is the future. The performance against Somalia clearly showed that
we need most of the players who were in Egypt and Zifa should accept that, and let the coach call them if he wants to.
Surely, it is wrong to pursue old vendettas when so many important issues like qualification for the 2022 World Cup and 2021 Afcon face the Zimbabwean game. There is light at the end of
the tunnel only if Zimbabweans are prepared to forget what happened at Egypt 2019 and focus on the future.
For your views, comments and suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on 0773 266 779.