ZIFA Fails – AGAIN !

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MARC POZZO

TheZimbabwe national women’s team failed to pitch up for their 2022 Olympic qualifier, second round, second leg encounter which was set for the National Sports Stadium at 3 pm on Sunday. The Mighty Warriors reportedly refused to play in protest over outstanding bonuses from the COSAFA Women Championship held last month.

The team travelled about 1000 km to and from Lusaka by road to fulfill the first leg encounter. And a few days ago, it was revealed the players will get reduced bonuses for taking part in the qualifier. Zifa claims the reduced earnings and traveling long trips by road are some of the austerity measures introduced by the association meant to cut spending.

Meanwhile, the second leg will be given to Zambia on a 3-0 scoreline while Zimbabwe who represented Africa at the 2014 Olympics is now facing a heavy punishment which could come as a ban. And the woes for ZIFA don’t stop there. The Warriors might fail to fulfill their World Cup qualifier against Somalia this week after a garnishee order was placed on ZIFA accounts last Friday.

The order came after a former employee at the association, Lazarus Mhurushomana approached the courts, seeking to recover a compensation package of $518,331.81 which he says is still owed following his dismissal in 2004.

Zimbabwe play Somalia in Djibouti in the first leg of a 2022 World Cup preliminary round qualifier, while the Young Warriors travel to South Africa for an Under 23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. So how does this happen and why?

Has this Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA failed already? My assessment is yes and they all need to go. The SRC needs to step in and take charge of the national game as a matter of urgency. We are just continuing to see the same old antics as the previous executive. Where is all the money? Why are players not being paid their dues? Everyone including the tea lady, travelled to the AFCON event but we send our ladies team on bus, and expect them to play and be prepared. It’s time the Minister gives the SRC the mandate to dissolve ZIFA and take over. I am embarrassed to be a Zimbabwe supporter at the moment.

Over the last few weeks, I have done some traveling to SA for    work and maybe it’s just me, but don’t you find Immigration officials on that side rude and arrogant?

You arrive at OR Tambo, and join this massive queue, with probably four or five other flights that have arrived at the same time, and there is like 20 desk’s but only four will be working.  And they take their sweet old time to serve you. They stop in the middle of a passport check to chat to the cubicle next to them, with no care in the world or worried if you are rushing or not having just spent as much time in a line than the flight took. It’s just bizarre or is just me?

I said right at the beginning of the F1 season watch this bloke Charles Leclerc. He can drive. Well, Charles Leclerc dedicated his maiden Formula One victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to his late friend, Anthoine Hubert on an emotional day at a sombre Spa-Francorchamps. 

The Ferrari driver’s landmark success came in the aftermath of 22-year-old Frenchman Hubert’s death in Saturday’s tragic Formula Two race. Leclerc led almost the entire race from pole to hold off Mercedes’ defending five time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic late charge by one-second. This young man has what it takes. That win will be the first of many.

We are just weeks away from the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and most countries have announced their final squads for the world show piece. What we all do know, is that New Zealand will go into the tournament as the world no 1 ranked team after Wales lost to Ireland this last weekend to be knocked off the perch. With one-and-a-half rating points deducted from their total because of the loss, Wales now find themselves down in fourth position on the rankings with New Zealand, Ireland and England the sides to profit.

The All Blacks regain their position at the top of the rankings that they had held for an unbroken 509-week period prior to Wales’ 13-6 victory over England back on August 14. Ireland, for whom Jacob Stockdale shone with a brace of first half tries, move up to second with the gap between the two teams just a fraction over half a point.