Over the last weekend, newspapers were awash with headlines of regulators’ intention to sack ZIFA boss, Cuthbert Dube and also his refusal to go.

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By Livingstone Banga

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Dube

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I remember laughing alone at this headline which stated that Dube has watched only one match out of 45 five national matches.

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Pathetic as it appears, I believe it is now too late to rectify the challenges at number 53 Livingstone Avenue.

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My elder man, Dube should had been sacked immediately after we were knocked out of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers by then lowly placed Tanzania.

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It is no use sacking him today when the qualifiers for 2018 World Cup get underway in the second half of the year.

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World football governing body, FIFA is taking a close eye on the developments and if Dube is sacked, we should expect a strong backlash from FIFA with at least a two year suspension from football activities.

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The best option we have now as Zimbabwe is to pressurise him to either resign or we leave him to run ZIFA till the end of his term.

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Of which the latter is the most feasible option.

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Sacking Dube means, we are going to forgo AFCON 2017 qualifiers, World Cup 2018 and even relinquish our bid to host AFCON 2017.

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We then have to ask ourselves the question that, “Are we prepared to scupper our football because of him even though he has already failed?”

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Life goes on, so let us leave him to run the association, we sponsor where we need to and complain where we also need to and football goes on.

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Had we fired him a year ago, we would have been left with one more year on our suspension which would be redundant because we are inactive on the continental stage.

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Turning on the 2015 AFCON showpiece currently underway in Equatorial Guinea, four teams remain and 12 others back home, watching the tournament on television just like me and everyone else.

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Africa is wishing to watch a Ghana- Cote D’ Ivoire final this coming Sunday but the huge battle awaits between now and then.

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The Elephants of Cote D’ Ivoire face the DRC and the Black Stars of Ghana face the tournament hosts, Equatorial Guinea who have emerged as late cup contenders.

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Controversy surrounded the late penalty awarded to Equatorial Guinea against Tunisia but let me remind you that Tunisia got the taste of their own medicine.

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It’s one thing facing the music and another playing it.

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No disrespect for our North Africans but it is their norm to fake injury and waste time whenever they lead and dive a lot, cause commotion and ill-disciplined when they are losing.

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I personally wouldn’t want such a team in the closing stages of the tournament because viewership increases and that is bad marketing for our African brand.

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We witnessed the same with Algeria when they faced Cote D’Ivoire, they would try to convince the referee with unwarranted dives and pressure the referee for their own benefit but it did not work out this time around.

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An interesting fact is that both North African giants conceded goals from set pieces.

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They should start working on that rather than complain about poor refereeing.

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My editor proposed that I resign as self-appointed AFCON 2013 technical team’s opposition scout job following a dismal prediction on the elimination of Cote D’Ivoire in the group stages.

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As a man, I relinquish the self-appointed post. In fact this is AFCON 2015 and I no longer needed it. The late System Tazvida had a song about losers and yes I am singing it.

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Cote D’Ivoire maximised the weakness I had highlighted before.

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Algeria had intense difficulty in handling pressure from the wings and unfortunately our ‘boys boys’ (Bafana Bafana) of South Africa only capitalised once against them and let loose at the back. No wonder why they are called ‘boys boys anywhere.’

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The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire showed a real man character in capitalising that weakness and bringing it to fruition.

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The first goal was a man subtraction by Bailly on the right wing and an inside pass to Maxi Gradel then an inswing to Wilfried Bony who made sure with his head.

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The second and third goals all came in from the right wing and it was the same tactic of maximising the weak link.
\nI am impressed by what I have witnessed in the Ivorian camp.

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All substitutions made by Herve Renard have made an impact, Seydou Doumbia and Maxi Gradel in particular.

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Three goals for the two super substitutes in four games is a good return for the coach.

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If the Elephants find their way out of the DRC encounter, I don’t seem to see the reason why they can’t win the cup.

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They have stars who are working as a team and all the goals so far have been scored by different players and their conversion rate is getting better with every game with the one against Algeria having stood at 60% (5 shots on target and 3 goals).

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DRC are not going to be push-overs especially having been buoyed by coming from two goals down to win 4-2 against Congo.

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I expect the game to be more physical, confrontational and in some parts of the game not entertaining.

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However, with both teams having excellently prepared technically, it is going to be an exciting game in most parts of it.

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Cote D’Ivoire will win based on experience, excellent execution and awareness.

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If the game goes to penalties, DRC will win it but it is highly unlikely to end in a stalemate over two hours of football.

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My prediction is Cote D’Ivoire 2-0 DRC.

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Thank you Equatorial Guinea for hosting the tournament at the last moment and thank you again for participating quite well but I don’t envisage you walloping Ghana on Thursday night.

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Equatorial Guinea relies mainly on set pieces and I don’t seem to see them getting more of those in the Ghana’s territory but rather them conceding needlessly at the edge of the 18 yard box.

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The match will most likely end 2-0 again in favour of Ghana.