Phillip Mbofana in Warsaw, Poland
THE current situation of our football in Zimbabwe is very sad because it has been going on for a very long time, dating back to the end of the 90s.
Leaders at the top have come and gone, but the more people change at the top, the more stagnant or worse the status of football remains.
So that implies that it’s the system that needs a complete overhaul, just like what we do to an engine because without it an engine ends up completely shutting down.
The mismanagement of the game has long been left to the management of our football without any proper checks and balances. Various national teams have suffered at the hands of football leaders and women’s football has fared worse.
Source of problems
A closer look at the last five ZIFA councils and assemblies will reveal a very disturbing trend where the rise to the highest positions has been through patronage and nightly clandestine meetings where the vote is decided long before election day. .
There are individual and group kingmakers who have made football their profession, but the ZIFA board and ZIFA assembly positions are quarterly positions. You have to serve for a specific term before handing over the baton.
The current system is so unfortunate that no matter how smart and upright you can be, even in the business world, but as soon as you join the band wagon, the system forces the person to sail with the monsoon wind. .
The preparation for the ZIFA elections is so strewn with irregularities, including some questionable decisions by the ZIFA Election Commission where people with questionable footballing backgrounds have been allowed to stand for election well against the precepts of the Constitution of the ZIFA. ZIFA.
I have personal experience of how these elections go because I was James Takavada’s campaign manager in the 2015 election. What I experienced then is very worrying and if it is not addressed , our football will continue to be run by people who don’t deserve it.
The fact that some people are the subject of legal action today is not surprising because it is an open secret that many underhand deals have been going on for quite a long time and that it has become more acceptable to land a post on the ZIFA Board.
On the eve of the 2015 election, someone advised me to go to the Monomotapa Hotel where one of the running candidates was hosting councilors and I witnessed this with my own eyes.
The next day I was not surprised by the election result as the supposed inevitable result was the result.
We had a clean campaign but I guess we were pretty naïve because the football system does not favor those who only sell football.
The rot isn’t just for the ZIFA board elections, but spills over into every structure in the game where the biggest problem is.
The ZIFA Assembly is the parliament of football but unfortunately most assembly meetings are more like a principal addressing students in schools where no meaningful exchange takes place (I also have personal when the coaches still had representatives in the Assembly).
Constituents like NAPH, NASH, Tertiary Institutions, Beach Soccer, Five-A-Side, and Zonal Zones are just there to add the numbers up on Election Day as they produce next to nothing for a significant contribution. football.
As the Zimbabwe Football Coaches Association (ZISCA) began to make critical contributions to the Assembly, we were withdrawn from the Assembly along with a few others and the result is that there is now no more room for divergent views in football.
Most members of the Assembly cannot question a manifest maladministration because they fear that they will not be appointed head of delegation for trips abroad with the national teams where they collect a few dollars for their own pocket.
The path to follow
The sports commission is to be applauded for making a late decision to suspend the ZIFA board of directors.
There is an English term which says he is never late for anything and in that regard it is hoped that the Sports Commission will remain committed to weeding out all the corrupt and useless people who claim to love football but love football. in reality money in football.
Have you ever wondered why people are scrambling for ZIFA positions when the association is always said to be bankrupt? One only needs to be in football to understand this and it is high time that checks and balances were put in place to protect this world’s most popular game from opportunists.
FIFA can threaten or even ban us, but personally I think we are currently experiencing a necessary metamorphosis for posterity. We can cry for short wins now like CAN 2022, but I think it’s more important to recreate the basics of football so that we can become a future football powerhouse.
The brains, the skills, the expertise and the technical know-how are all there, but the problem is that most of these qualified people don’t want to be associated with the soccer circus that has been organized in Zimbabwe.
While the Sports Committee has appointed a committee of men and women of integrity in business and sport, I believe more football brains are needed on this committee because their recommendations are as important as they will shape the future of football in our beloved country.
Good luck to the Warriors (at the CAN final next month in Cameroon) and let’s all enjoy Christmas as we look forward to 2022.
- Phillip Mbofana is a former Young Warriors coach who also worked with former Premiership teams Mhangura and Douglas Warriors, who are no longer present. He is currently part of the technical department of the Polish Third Division, City Wilanow, based in Warsaw. He wrote this article in a personal capacity.