It's official, we're now minnows

HARARE - Zimbabwe's elimination at the preliminary stage of the African Nations Cup qualifiers is an all-time low for a football team that has allowed so much heartache in our lives.

The Warriors were knocked out of the qualifiers at the weekend when they drew 2-2 with Tanzania Stars at the National Sports Stadium.

After having lost the first leg 1-0 in Dar es Salaam a fortnight ago, the Warriors desperately needed to win the second leg by a two-goal margin.

Ian Gorowa’s men, however, failed to overhaul Tanzania’s lead as they could only come from behind to salvage the draw.

Of the 10 countries from the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) region, Zimbabwe was among the five teams to fall by the wayside.   

Zimbabwe, Namibia, Swaziland, Madagascar and Comoros are the five teams that failed to get past the first round stage of the qualifiers.

But the other teams are relatively lightweights on the continent and were not expected to go far in these qualifiers.

The five nations from Cosafa that move into the second round are Mozambique, Botswana, Seychelles, Lesotho and Malawi.

If these five progress to the group stages, they will join South Africa, Angola and Zambia, the three Cosafa representatives given a bye in the preliminary stages.

Not so long ago, Zimbabwe used to enjoy this privilege of getting byes from playing in preliminary qualifiers due to the Warriors’ high standing on the Fifa World Rankings.      

At the moment, the Warriors are now ranked 98 in the world and 26th on the continent, which resulted in the team going into the draw for the preliminary round.

The Warriors’ slayers on Sunday, Tanzania, are ranked a distant 122 in the world and 37th on the continent.

It has been 34 years since the Taifa Stars have been to an Afcon tournament and on paper Zimbabwe appeared to be the favourites to win the tie when the draw was announced.

With the evidence of the results from both legs, it should be now clear that the Warriors are now minnows of African football.

Zimbabweans should not be alarmed if the Warriors are now peers with the small fish of African football like Madagascar, Lesotho and Comoros.

This is the level that Zimbabwean football now finds itself in and the people responsible that downfall, to be frank, is the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board, coach Ian Gorowa and the players.

Football is a result oriented sport which means Zifa and Gorowa must take responsibility for this colossal catastrophe.

After a number of unsuccessful years, the South African Football Association (Safa) have seen the light and said they will not be renewing coach Gordon Igesund’s contract when it ends in August.

Igesund has paid dearly for Bafana Bafana’s poor showing at the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) and recent friendly internationals.

With the Warriors now reduced to minnows on the continent, Zifa and Gorowa should just do the honourable and make way for a new regime.

Comments (3)

Blaming coach Ian Gorowa is not the solution.Remember, he requested for more time with players but was not given the chance.Results did not come our way and we start to blame the coach.PSL should have cancelled all weekend games in order to accomodate longer training period for the national team.Hiring and firing coaches is not the solution.Zambia at one time appointed only five coaches within a period of twenty year. In Zimbabwe thats not the case.Zifa can appoint five coaches within five years and that shows we are not serious in developing soccer.Norman Mapeza assembled a competitive team which by now show should have been rated among the best in the continent but the the Zifa board continue to question his capabilities.I Blame Zifa, they do not learn from the past. Please stop killing our football.

andrew masengere - 5 June 2014

zveshuwa, Warriors managed to have a friendly against Dynamos and beaten 3-1. Tanzania have friendly against Malawi. Now how would you expect these guys to play and win. Cuthbert must go

achimwene - 5 June 2014

Cuthbert must resign,Mapeza be appointed national coach,Gorowa for his love of local talent,becomes under 23 coach,Mutasa assisted by Mangwiro takes the under 17,current PSL executive takes charge of Zifa affairs pending elections may be we can move forward.

GLAMOURBOY - 5 June 2014

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