Gumbo did the honourable thing

HARARE - Rahman Gumbo finally resigned as Zimbabwe football coach this week after dismally failing to guide the Warriors to next year’s African Nations Cup finals in South Africa and we welcome his resignation.

Following the Warriors’ shattering failure, the entire Zimbabwean football fraternity expected Gumbo to do the honourable thing, but his employers at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chose to give him a soft-landing by managing his exit to make sure that Gumbo departs with some dignity intact.

For Zifa to have waited for Gumbo’s resignation shows a degree of administrative deficiency by the local governing body.

Anywhere else in the world, a coach who presides over such debacle — failure to protect a 3-1 first leg win at such level — is shown the exit door immediately.

But as we have always stated, Zifa erred in the first place by appointing Gumbo, seven years after the same association fired him for incompetency.

Gumbo was sacked by Zifa following the Warriors’ 3-0 defeat at home to Nigeria in a combined World Cup/African Nations Cup qualifier.

To add to the insanity, Gumbo was appointed Warriors coach for a second tenure while he was in charge of FC Platinum, which was at that time struggling for form in the Castle Premier Soccer League.

And when he was duly fired by Platinum following a string of poor results, Zifa rewarded him with confirmation as substantive Warriors coach.

As a patriotic national paper, we gave all our support to the coach, hoping that maybe the players could rally themselves and do the nation proud despite being set up to fail by Zifa.

Now that Gumbo is history, Zifa must take a good, long and hard look at themselves and own up to their decision, a decision inspired by emotions and a decision which clearly was not in the best interests of Zimbabwean football and its well-being.

Gumbo’s resignation alone is not good enough; the nation demands answers. Zifa must be asked to explain their logic.

In the same vein that Gumbo and his technical bench were asked to submit a report on the failed qualification campaign, surely someone, a higher authority, must ask Zifa to do the same.

That higher authority is Sports minister David Coltart, or the Sports and Recreation Commission.

National sports associations must be held accountable for their actions and the performances of the national teams they administer. - Staff Writer

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