Afcon 2017 bid: We exposed ourselves

HARARE - Zimbabwe's failed bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals has been slammed as a waste of time, football personalities who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said.

The country, together with six other nations – Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Gabon, Sudan and Kenya – had in September submitted bids to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to replace Libya, who pulled out due to political unrest in the North African country.

At the weekend, the Caf Executive Committee met in Cairo and deliberated on the 2017 edition and subsequently dismissed bids from Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan.

The three bids were deemed unfit to meet the criteria that included acceptable infrastructure in the form of stadia, training grounds, accommodation and communication.

Caf had also emphasised that due to the limited time frame in organising the 2017 Afcon, they needed hosts who in the last 10 years had organised Afcon finals, continental junior tournaments or the Africa Women’s Championships.

Despite Caf’s well-documented yardstick, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) still went ahead to submit the country’s bid to host the tournament.

Former Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede, who was part of the Zimbabwe 2000 Afcon bid committee, said the country does not have the capacity to host such a big tournament.

“When the 2000 Afcon tournament was taken away from us, all the construction that was taking place to improve Sakubva and Mucheke was suddenly stopped,” Gumede said.

“Can you imagine that 14 years later when we have done nothing to improve our infrastructure and we still want to host the Afcon tournament?

“We are not serious as a nation and I’m not surprised that our bid was thrown out. First and foremost we should be eager to host the smaller tournaments like the Under-17, Under-20 and the Women’s Championships before we start to cry for the Nations Cup.”     

Former Dynamos chairman Leslie Gwindi, who twice ran for the Zifa presidency and lost to Cuthbert Dube, said Zifa was ill-advised to bid.   

“This was a wild idea and I don’t know who had advised Zifa that the country had the capacity to host such a big tournament. Why do we expose ourselves like this?” Gwindi said.

“I was actually surprised when I heard the news that Zimbabwe wanted to host the Africa Cup of Nations.

“In the first place, the state of our football does not allow us to host such a big tournament. Our own association needs to put its house in order first. At the moment they are batting a debt that is now over $6 million.

“Recently, the association’s property was attached due to debts. They should have focused their energy on reducing this debt.

“These are some of the things we said during our campaign and it seems nothing has changed at Zifa. As long as we have Cuthbert Dube in charge, our football will not develop. 

“We need to sort out our football by getting back to the basics first. Bidding to host the Africa Cup of Nations for us was like a child who has failed to complete Grade Seven attempting to write an ‘O’ Level exam.

“At the moment we don’t have a national team coach or a national team to talk about but we want to host the Nations Cup!”

Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) secretary general Paul Gundani said the country’s economy was not conducive to host such a big tournament.

“Economically, the country is struggling at the moment. It was going to be a big task for us to pull together the resources to host the Afcon finals,” Gundani told the Daily News yesterday.

“Our preparations were lagging behind. If you look at the current state of our infrastructure, a lot still needed to be done.  

“What we need to do is come up with a solid plan that develops our national team to qualify for future Afcon finals.”

Comments (4)

Historically CAF has a sinister agenda against Zimbabwe hoisting the AFCON Finals. Muri kutaura kuti ma hotels e muZimbabwe are worse than those in Burkina Faso? CAF is a biased organization

Tonderayi Chanakira - 19 November 2014

which sinister agenda chanakira its not only hotels which they consider , research well my friend . l am afraid you expose yourself! just admit our country is too poor to host such a big event.

gunguwo - 19 November 2014

Chanakira bhora rinotambirwa muhotera here? The state of our stadiums is just deplorable. Unomboendawo kubhora here uchiona?? We dont have the infrastructure to host such an event period.

alfred - 19 November 2014

apart from infrastructure like stadiums and hotels, more need to be done or else bidding to host an event of such magnitude is waste of time. Zifa shld stand for its purpose and bring back the glory the beloved game of footbal used to havel

pikai innocent - 21 November 2014

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