Soccer coach Norman Mapeza. 📷 by Soccer24

ZIFA says sorry for Warriors poor show, begs fans not to bash players

By Griffiths Ncube, HourlyHits Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) says it takes full responsibility for the poor show by the Warriors which has seen them crash out of contention for the 2022 World Cup tournament.

The national senior men’s soccer team no longer has any chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after back-to-back defeat to Ghana which saw the Warriors suffer a humiliating 3 – 1 loss away and yesterday’s 0 – 1 loss in Harare.

ZIFA, who have come under angry criticism from soccer lovers, says it was unfair to criticize players and technical team as it believes they did their best under the circumstances.

“We fully understand the disappointment that comes with every unfavorable result from the national teams because we all know that Zimbabweans love and support their teams,” said the soccer-managing body in the country.

“ZIFA will take lessons from the two matches and without compromising performance on the remaining World Cup qualifiers, shift focus on the AFCON tournament preparations.”

The association also blamed Government for not stepping in to support the team with resources. ZIFA said Ghana arrived earlier in Harare after the two sides clashed on Saturday for the second match this Tuesday because the Black Stars used a chartered plane funded by their Government.

“While Ghana flew directly from Ghana to Harare on a Government funded chartered plane, our Warriors used commercial flights secured using the association’s resources.”

The association further hoped that the return of football activities after the lockdown restrictions are lifted will increases the selection pool of players available to coaches.

Soccer analysts remain unconvinced that the ZIFA administration in its current configuration has what it takes to see the national team not being embarrassed again in future.

Former Warriors winger Alois Bunjira suggested that it was better for the senior team to be disbanded, old players retired and a new group of players be built around a nucleus of under-23 national players.

“We need to go back to the drawing and press the retart button.Our football needs a complete revamp, with the National coach rebuilding our national team.

ZIFA statement

“At least we have a strong base as a starting point, with the young pro Zimbabwe footballers scattered around the world.The sterm of the national is there to build on,” Bunjira said.

Otherd suggested that Government must disband ZIFA, get the nation kicked out of all FIFA tournaments and use the sabbatical as an opportunity to start afresh with a new mentality and new soccer administration. □

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