bla zvoma.jpgBy Ian Zvoma

 

One of the greatest footballers of all time, Edison Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as ‘Pele’, described football as a beautiful game.

 

A familiar quote I should say in local football circles.

 

BUT while the beauty of the most popular sport on the planet is not an issue for debate, some among us and precisely those associated with the game on the domestic scene ESPECIALLY at national level, in their wisdom or lack of it have made it so bad within a short space of time to such an extent that the word “bad” does not even at its very basic meaning begin to describe their actions.

 

I will not comment about how silent they have been – SILENT on the Dynamos cash assistance, donation, brotherly love, bribery or whatever one might call it, starring TP Mazembe honour Moise Katumbi, because that’s a debate for another day. My heart bleeds for the Warriors.

 

For, how do you describe the actions of a whole Zifa board, elected for that matter to turn around the fortunes of local football, trying to convince us that the best medicine to cure our ailing national team is to hire current Namibian coach, Tom Saintfiet of Belgian origin, assisted by ‘their friends’ who have, according to reports, not applied for the said portfolios?  WHAT NONSENSE!!!!!!!!!

It is basic knowledge if not common sense, that no foreign coach and European for that matter, has ever taken and possibly will never take us to any major soccer tournament with the two occasions that we qualified for the African Cup of Nations -AFCON finals having been through Sunday Chidzambwa and Charles Mhlauri.

 

Then comes a certain clique of football leaders who believe that by bringing to the fore the obvious national team batting scandal allegations in their forays to Asia, they now have a divine or is it moral authority to dictate who should be the national soccer team coach for the sake of satisfying their egos and pleasing certain predictable circles.

 

Even poor Namibia had seen the light before making an about turn after realising that they would pay the prize of terminating Saintfiet’s contract which runs for another two years. That was after Namibia lost 3-1 to The Gambia in their opening match of the 2012 AFCON qualifiers. During the same weekend, Norman Mapeza led the Warriors in a brave fight against Liberia collecting a valuable point away from home and were it not for diabolical referring decisions, the Warriors should have collected maximum points.

 

That is when some of the so-called football brains at Zifa should have realised that there is no value in appointing the Belgian, but alas, to our surprise he is their messiah.

Suddenly, Norman Mapeza, who has breathed fresh air into the Warriors ranks with a team based on youth exuberance and current form, is relegated to the Under 23 side.

 

Suddenly, Joey Antipas, who has convinced us beyond any reasonable doubt of his coaching skills with a trailblazing Motor Action, is thrown into the football dustbin.

 

Spare a thought for Brena Msika.

 

The new Zifa board, especially members of the technical sub-committee tasked with selecting a substantive Warriors’ coach, should be reminded before they get far off the mark that it is the success of the Warriors or lack of it that will shape their destiny.

 

Appointing Saintfiet and the other “jokers” as assistants ahead of Mapeza, Antipas and Msika is not only a recipe for disaster, but a sin if committed will see those responsible being answerable if the Warriors 2012 Afcon campaign is thrown off the rails.

 

I was tempted to comment on the Mandinda Ndlovu issue, but I have realised that it is not worth it. Whoever is obsessed with making him part of the national team structures should remember that he was a big flop at Highlanders, in Botswana and just look at where Black Mambas are on the current Premier Soccer League standings, despite all the money at their disposal.

 

And then Friday who???????? naTswatswa here veduweee!.

 

It is however, refreshing to hear that Zifa President, Cuthbert Dube is a bit cautious about the whole issue and is reported to be in favour of Mapeza’s appointment. Great minds leave room for reason, I should add. He has at least shown that although he might be surrounded by people whose leadership credentials are questionable, he is the boss with the brains.

 

I will end by saying that I have and will never have any personal vendettas against Saintfiet, Mandinda, Phiri, Tswatswa, or any member of the Zifa board, but will stand for the truth, especially if they want to temper with my favourite team – THE WARRIORS.

 

I will not mince my words. I will never be afraid to stand for the truth and God willing I will make my feelings known again and again and again on this column or any other forum. Football is a very emotional game and people should not play around with our emotions to please their egos and so called friends. Bodo ndaramba, musatambe nebhora revanhu.

 

They promised us heaven on earth once elected into the Zifa board and some said it in broad daylight that they are open to criticism of any nature. HERE IT COMES. DON’T MESS WITH OUR NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM. GO WARRIORS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!