13 August 2012

Zimbabwe/Angola: Chivero Blasts Zifa

FORMER Young Warriors' team manager, Eddie Chivero, says Zifa should be held accountable for the debacle that saw the Young Warriors failing to travel to Angola for an African Youth Championships qualifier. The junior national teams now face a possible three-year ban from all Caf competitions, throwing the future of many teenage players who use these games for exposure to help in their development into disarray.

Zifa have been battling a serious crisis, which has turned the association into bankruptcy, and matters came to a head at the weekend when the Young Warriors made history as the first representative national football team to fail to travel and fulfil an international assignment.

Chivero said the events at the weekend were a shame.

"Whoever is involved in the arrangement of this whole thing should resign as a matter of urgency because they have embarrassed the nation," said Chivero.

"It is known everywhere that before you enter into a competition you need to draw your budget first.

"What we are seeing now is a football leadership that has lost direction and cannot be relied upon to keep taking charge of our national game.

"This trip to Angola was known, from the moment we eliminated Botswana, but we had our football leaders trying to secure funding in the final week before departure.

"It's horrible, especially the impact that this will have on the young players who spent weeks preparing for this and only to be told on the final day that the trip was off.

"My biggest question is that we have seen a lot of board meetings whenever people want to be appointed into national team positions and why is it that there wasn't an emergency board meeting to resolve this issue?"

Chivero said if the Zifa board could do this to the Young Warriors, what guarantees were there that the same could not happen to the Warriors?

"For a start it's the same trip because our senior team is going to Angola and if this can happen to the youngsters, it can also happen to the big boys," said Chivero.

"There are a lot of things, which need financial commitments, which are being taken care of at Zifa and some of those things are the committees that are doing all the investigations and you need a fortune to pay such qualified men.

"So, if we are settling those bills, are we saying that football on the pitch has become less important and the Young Warriors can go and rot because we have important issues to take care of?

"My heart bleeds when watching these youngsters' talents wasted like this - it's a big embarrassment."

Chivero said the Zifa leaders appeared more concerned with changing managers than making sure that the team plays.

"First of all they fired me and replaced me with Lloyd Chinawa and then, after they came from Botswana, they fired Lloyd and replaced him with Patrick Mutesva," said Chivero.

"If we could put the same concentration, which we are putting in reshuffling the managers, into planning for trips, the Young Warriors would be somewhere right now.

The Young Warriors were trailing 0-1 from the first leg played at Rufaro two weeks ago. Former Zimbabwe international striker, Charlie Jones, who is now a football commentator on StarFM, said the events of the weekend were a disaster.

"There is just one word to describe this - disaster," said Jones. "It has caught up with us and it's very sad, especially for the youngsters, who really just wanted to play the game and represent their country.

"Football leaders come in because they say they can take care of all these responsibilities and when they fail, we have to ask questions."

Copyright © 2012 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.