SINCE last Monday, when the Warriors' trooped into camp, coach Rahman Gumbo imposed a media blackout, with local journalists unable to interview the gaffer or the players. Even Warriors' captain, Tapuwa Kapini, could not grant The Herald an interview upon arrival at the Harare International Airport yesterday afternoon.
"I was bared from talking (to the media)", said Kapini.
It's sad that Rahman does not see the importance of talking to the media, yet it provides the easiest and most convenient way for him to get in touch with the fans and drive them to rally behind the team.
It also creates the hype needed for this game to attract the sell-out crowd to turn Rufaro into a cauldron where Angola will feel very much away from home.
Yesterday, Rahman faced the local media for the first time.
"It was actually not a blackout but I was protecting my team because they need focus for such a game," said Rahman at a media conference.
Protect them from what?
Maybe Rahman is so superstitious to the extent that he feels that any information that gets to the fans, and the nation at large, will do harm his side.
We might have differences, some personal and some professional, but when it comes to the national team we all believe we are working for the same cause.
Journalists are there to give the fans an insight of what is happening to the team and such daily updates give the ordinary supporter on the street the passion to go and watch the game. Tomorrow the Warriors play Angola in a crucial 2013 Africa Cup qualifier at home but the whole week Rahman denied the fans an opportunity to hear from the players -- the same people they will be coming to watch in action.
At least, Rahman appears to know the importance of home advantage and says the support from the terraces will be a huge factor to determine if the Warriors will win tomorrow. This is the reason he feels the US$10 being charged by Zifa for the cheapest ticket is too much.
"Support is very important in this game. US$10 is too much for an ordinary supporter to come and watch the game, I feel its too much," said Rahman.
At the end of the day, we are all Zimbabweans and we have to work together for the cause of our country.
At times we have to swallow our pride and put the interests of the nation up-front.