Radical measures needed to save Zim footballI

HARARE - In a week’s time, the Africa Cup of Nations finals begin in Equatorial Guinea, and it has become the norm that Zimbabwe will not be part of that jamboree once again.

What a sad reminder it will be, when the tournament kicks off on January 17, of the dire state of the game here. That we have failed to qualify for a fifth successive Afcon finals is an accurate reflection of Zimbabwean football, a game that is on the brink of total collapse if a radial package of austerity measures are not taken — and soon.

As we begin a new year, the importance of these measures cannot be overemphasized, and we call upon the relevant authorities to act early.

The ministry of Sport, the Sports and Recreation Commission and Zifa itself must exhaust all possible means of resolution so that 2015 becomes the year that this national pastime, as we know it, is salvaged from collapse.  

What are the available options that we have? Do we fire the current Zifa board, which is seen by many as impediment to progress, and risk a Fifa ban from international football?

That will only make a bad situation worse in that in this rebuilding phase, we desperately need as much game time as possible in order to groom the next generation of national team players.

Let’s target qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup. The available time we have between now and the beginning of the qualifiers for those tournaments must be used wisely, and requires ingenuity and foresight.

Zifa must compile a database, now, of players who will still be young enough, say in 2018, to play for the national team.

Having done that, a high performance centre can then be put in place for the players, where they occasionally meet for training away from their club commitments.

Money is a stumbling block, but herein lies the need for astute leadership in our game, a leadership capable of drawing up a workable plan that can get the full backing of world governing body Fifa among other organs with the financial muscle to help fund such initiatives.

The high performance centre becomes the hub of football revival in Zimbabwe. The game time available will then give us an opportunity to assess progress.

When it’s done well, there is still that chance to save the game.

    Comments (1)

    A stich in time We have allowed things to deteriorate further by accepting wrongs and hoping things will sort themselves We ghave allowed zifa governance to mirror the political governance with leaders doing willy nilly and abusing offices, very incompetent and renewing terms. I tbink supporters should realise the power they weld with regards to governance for footballl, supporters can demonstrate to remove poorly and corrupt perfoming officials for example, absconfding matches and similar action. We have incompete peopke running football body for more than 20 years n we xpect changes... we r even foolish What we need is a push for a cleanup of old dogs in zifa, we start instituting appointment based on educational qualifications. Secretary general ... should be appropriately qualified and have at least be exposed to similar admin at club level, same as zifa chairman we should allow candidacy from those that have ran clubs in a simikar position plus qualifications.... unlike situation for cuthberth dube , having no experience to run a primary school football team n he placed at the helm of this critical institution. I think at this point in time we should assign one of sa fa bosses in the transition to bring about new perspective and change other wise tirikutamba.... Rambai makashinga

    thulani@gmail.com - 7 January 2015

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