insidesport:with MICHAEL KARIATI
The year 2020 has come and gone and it is a year sports lovers would like to forget as quickly as they can.
Although there were some finer moments from Zimbabweans who were lucky to get a chance on the field of play, all in all, it was not the best of years for Zimbabwean sport.
Sport in the country — and that of the outside world — was heavily disrupted by Covid-19 and, even up to now, football in Zimbabwe is struggling to get back on its feet after a 12-month break.
Local footballers last kicked a ball — in a competitive match — way back in November 2019, when the curtain came down on that year’s season with FC Platinum crowned Zimbabwean champions.
At first, those running the game promised football would return in August, they then shifted their promise to December, and now, they are pointing fingers to March 2021?
However, even in this world of Covid-19 era, those few Zimbabweans who got their chance on the field of play were able to turn on the style and made their country proud.
Who can forget that October 25 day when the Zimbabwean cricket team travelled all the way to Pakistan and collected their first points of the newly-formed 2020-2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League despite losing the ODI series 2-1.
There was also Brendon Denese who travelled all the way to Namibia by road but still managed to come back home with the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title.
Who can also forget that November 16 day when the Warriors of Zimbabwe ran rings around Africa champions Algeria before unfortunately settling for a 2-2 draw?
That, however, is now history and the focus should be on the future hoping that nothing like Covid-19 will come in between to disrupt the much-loved entertainment.
Surely, there are so many challenges facing Zimbabwean sport in 2021 —not least of which are the 2021 Olympic Games to be held in Japan.
This time around Zimbabweans need medals, not the excuses they have been fed with each time the Zimbabwe team returned from the global sporting festival
The good news is that Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry, has revealed that they have released funding to assist our athletes in their training for the Olympics.
With funding having been a dominant factor in the excuses of the past, this time around, excuses won’t be entertained because the financial resources are available.
Even in the 2022 football World Cup, Afcon 2021 and 2023 Netball World Cup qualifiers, failure will not be entertained.
The year 2020 is gone and the year 2021 should be remembered as having been the best ever for Zimbabwean sport.
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