Bothwell Mahlengwe Sports Correspondent
IT’S something that we never thought we could hear from our Sports Minister, in his description of ZIFA, that this was an organisation that is “rotten, lacking in professionalism and accountability, disjointed and confused lot.”
But, last week, we did hear Andrew Langa say that loud and clear.
There’s no denying that ZIFA, under Cuthbert Dube’s leadership, has not only failed but done that miserably.
“ZIFA has failed the nation and is holding the country at ransom. This is ridiculous,” Langa told us last week.
“What is even more embarrassing is the impression that the Valinhos issue has created that we, as a nation, have failed to pay a debt of $67,000.00.”
True, in the eyes of the football world, it is Zimbabwe that failed to pay the $67,000, and not ZIFA, not Dube, not Mashingaidze.
Obviously, questions are flying as to how a country that couldn’t pay $67,000.00 had the audacity to apply to host an African Cup of Nations tournament.
We are now all laughing stock and they were laughing at Elasto Lungu when he appeared as a pundit on SuperSport’s Soccer Africa last week.
Just because of two men who have been hiding behind FIFA ruthless anti-interference policy.
Now that we are in agreement that Dube and his team have failed, you have to be at the forefront Cde Minister in cleaning up the mess.
You said that “we cannot allow our football to be led by a disjointed and confused lot, this is intolerable and heads must roll.”
These are strong words which, unless, followed up by matching action, can easily become meaningless and cheap talk.
What is important is that we cannot let another debt issue catch us by surprise.
ZIFA should avail to you, and the entire nation, its creditors’ book.
There should be a forensic audit on ZIFA to determine the extent of the rot at the association and the longer it takes to be implemented the dire the situation we find ourselves in.
I believe Dube and Mashingaidze are reasonable people, who had good intentions, but found themselves in a job they took for granted and personalised it so much they forgot it was a national game.
Now they need to accept failure and leave in a humble and honourable manner.
We need to know who is owed and how much they are owed.
I think you have realised that there are a lot of things hidden in the ZIFA dirty basket.
Few days after the Valinhos explosion, we started hearing about the Tom Saintfiet’s $150,000.00 damages awarded by FIFA.
What else is in the FIFA disciplinary chambers? What became of the Kentaro saga? What has happened to the other coaches?
Didn’t they take their cases to FIFA?
If not, are they not going to follow suit?
Honourable Minister, you cannot afford to delay another second. Your reputation is at stake here.
This is something everyone is talking about.
When you take on ZIFA, do not spare the Sports Commission.
The Valinhos saga exploded less than two months after their highly-publicised fact finding mission with ZIFA.
Now, one wonders what facts they found from that indaba if such pertinent issues were not discussed.
It’s nearly two months and nothing has been heard from them.
Obviously, something is amiss here.
It’s time to deal with ZIFA with naked and clenched fists.
It’s no longer child’s play.
Actually, the shambolic Young Warriors preparations’ saga speaks for itself.
And, as we guessed, the ZIFA president even chose not to come to watch the Young Warriors again Cde Minister while, at least to your credit, you were there for these players.
ZIFA have said they will sort out and pay Valinhos by the end of April and appeal for admission into the 2018 World Cup qualifiers fold.
Isn’t this just talk of people in a tight spot?
Can they really satisfy you, Honourable Minister, that they have the means to raise the funds by the said date?
These are some of the issues that you have put a close eye on otherwise the embarrassment and humiliation you will suffer will be unbearable.