Mixed-up priorities: Zifa disappoints again!

HARARE - The depressing news of the Zimbabwe Under-17 football team’s failure to travel to Congo-Brazzaville to fulfil an important African Youth Championship qualifier delivered another dose of bad news that could signal a new low in local football.

Having recently fired the entire national side en masse following the 2013 African Nations Cup finals, Zifa had a wonderful opportunity to prove their drastic measure was not just a total, face-saving gimmick.

Here was an opportunity for Zifa to demonstrate they are genuine in their efforts to rebuild the senior national side around the youth teams by affording the Young Warriors a well-deserved opportunity to fulfil their fixture against the Congolese.

But alas! Not for the first time, another Zimbabwean national age-group side has failed to fulfil an away fixture, leaving them facing a shattering three-year ban from the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
So for the next three years or so, the country’s Under-17 and Under-20 teams will not be able to hone their skills at the international level.

What a terrible blow to this generation of Zimbabwean footballers and one will not blame them for holding Zifa responsible for their agony.  

The problem with our football administration lies in the unwillingness to invest in the future.

Our football leadership is obsessed with instant results, because it gives them an opportunity to grandstand while they are still in power.

Had the Warriors qualified for next year’s Nations Cup, Zifa would definitely have basked in the glory and claimed credit for the success, yet in failure, they did not have the courage to accept responsibility for failure but infact sent a whole team packing.

It is a fact the current crop of Warriors (which has been dissolved) is not a product of the current Zifa board.

So having dissolved the national team, the current administration needed to start working on building their own legacy, and the first step was the Under-17s.

But the Young Warriors debacle has left the Zimbabwean football family questioning the priorities of those overseeing the people’s game.  

Clearly, Zifa’s priorities and vision are wrong.  

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