Now that football is back, what’s next?

Concerns about Zimbabwe’s lack of a permitted stadium for hosting international football games may grow now that the country is once again part of the international community.

FIFA claims that all requirements have been satisfied for removing the ban.

FIFA has declared that “from a legal standpoint it is no longer possible for Kamambo” and his fellow officials to resume their position of leadership, despite previously insisting on the reinstatement of the ZIFA board, led by Felton Kamambo, since the board’s four-year mandate expired in December of last year.

FIFA had also objected to the SRC choosing a restructuring committee, but since that body was disbanded in December, that complaint is also no longer relevant.

Journalist Augustine Hwata believes nothing tangible has been done for over the year when the country was facing the FIFA sanctions.

But while the international matches were in the doldrums, what tangible progress has been done on domestic football?

How many new football stadiums have been spruced up? It seemed like more venues -Sakubva, Rufaro, Gwanzura, Chibuku, Vengere, DZ, have not made much progress and are not ready to host international or top league games.

No significant under 10, to under 17 leagues to talk about. If there is an Under-17 international tournament next week, does Zifa have a technical team and players to form the Young Warriors squad.

Nothing I reckon

Few if any teenage sensations are playing in the Premiership or came through when the ban was affected.

When was a last CAF A licence preparation done so that coaches on the sidelines can next month start lessons? Is Zifa technical director Wilson Mtekede ready for the challenges? What inroads did he make on developing football on the grounds while SRC and Felton Kamambo were playing uncoordinated tango in the board room.”

Many groups are going by the moniker of football academies but how many have identified, natured and produced talent that could be talked in the mould of Peter Ndlovu, Jani Milanzi Benjamin Nkojera, Alois Bunjira, Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Tapuwa Kapini, Samson Choruwa , Daniel Veremu among a host of players who came through the juniors.

The national under 23 at the All-Africa Games in Cairo 1991 and the All-Africa Games team in 1995 had great talent that came through the mill.

Nelson Matongorere and Phil Mbofana had a good squad at Under 20 and Under-23 while Rodwell Dhlakama’s Under-17 troops led by Knowledge Musona are probably the last Young Warriors squad to leave a fine impression.

 Now Musona and Khama have retired from international football and no replacements in place now.

 Some groups going as football schools of excellence are trying their best under the conditions but the Archieford Gutu academy and the Dubai debacle easily comes to the fore.

 Instead of using the ban to revive and reorganise, I feel the freeze from international football was never seen as a blessing in disguise by some stakeholders.

 Zim champions FC Platinum could still be knocked at the first round if they are to given a waiver today. The PSL is crying for players who can pull crowd, not just for their home supporters.  The economy is hard at the moment but some die hard soccer lovers need to watch more than just their favourite club. But could there, when you can count fingers on one hand, the number of raw talents in the current league.

How many Caps United fans can go to Ngezi if the Green Machine is inactive? Or how many Yadah fans can watch their team on Saturday and select another venue on Sunday. Very few because the quality of play is not as exciting and the pockets are feeling the pinch.

Instead of making lemonade with the lemons thrown by FIFA ban, some Zim football stakeholders -players, administrators, technical team, fly by night fans and media – used, misused and even abused the time of ban by bickering more than action.

Leave a Reply