‘The Decay Of Local Football At The Mother Body Zifa, And Collapse Perfectly Mirrors Bad National Governance’-Welshman Ncube

MDC president Professor Welshman Ncube has bemoaned the decay of local football at the mother body Zifa saying the collapse perfectly mirrors bad national governance.

Writing in his weekly diary, Ncube said   the Zifa presidential race just like “a decaying carcass of a wild animal – it attracts vultures who want nothing less than financial self-aggrandisement”.

Four candidates have filed their nomination papers for the ZIFA presidential elections ahead of the vetting process as the local soccer mother body gears up for the December 5 elections.

The four are former chairman of Harare City FC, Leslie Gwindi, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, 1984 Soccer-star-of-the-year James Takavada and former ZIFA boss Trevor Carlisle Juul.

Said Ncube ” I miss the ‘good old days’ of the exciting rivalry between ‘Mashonaland United’ (Zimbabwe Saints) and ‘Matabeleland Highlanders’ (Highlanders FC).

“The heady days of Majuta ‘Jujuju’ Mpofu, Peter Nyama, Tendai Chieza, Gibson Homela, Andrew Kadengu, Tymon Mabaleka, Bruce ‘Jungleman’ Grobbelaar and Moses Bambo Chunga.

“These are the men who brought pride, dignity and stature to the game. And this was not by coincidence. They played for the love of it, backed by superb administrative skills in the likes of Nelson Chirwa, Job Kadengu, Kennedy Sibanda and John Madzima.

” Big corporates in the tobacco and beer sectors poured thousands of dollars into the game and the only thing that deprived our country from showing off our talent on the global stage was bad politics.

To imagine that as late as the late 1980s and mid 1990s, our soccer still had a semblance of respectability, because that is the Peter, Madinda and Adam Ndlovu era; when stylists like Joel ‘Jubilee’ Shambo, Stanley Ndunduma, Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo and Eddie “Twinkle Toes” Katswere ruled the roost. Was it not Reinhard Fabisch’s ‘Dream Team’ that packed the Chinese-built national sports stadium to the brim with frenzied, patriotic supporters? So what went wrong?

“I do not have ready answers to this paradox, but what I know is that in most countries where soccer thrives – at club or national level – national government has a semblance of stability. There is no doubt in my mind that it will take a couple of decades before Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe make it to the soccer world cup.

“The health of a national team is a mirror image of central governance. When a country’s economy is healthy, corporates produce enough resources to support the game that attracts a huge chunk of target customers.

“A national culture of corruption, greed and administrative hooliganism also permeates to the very roots of soccer governance. This is why at one time our cricket assumed ‘test status’ character, because the administrators invested in integrity, credibility and reputation of the game. I am not so sure now”.

Ncube said when the game stinks – like a decaying carcass of a wild animal – it attracts vultures who want nothing less than financial self-aggrandisement.

“That explains why Dynamos and Highlanders cannot retain quality players, only acting as breeding grounds for predatory South African soccer scouts. For several decades, we have watched ZIFA slide into intractable mediocrity with people like Cuthbert Dube at the helm. They have nothing other than debts and insolvency to show for their tenure. Qualifying for the world cup is hard enough, but owing coaches money and being thrown out of world tourneys digs bigger graves for the game. Junior football – at both club and national level is dead because the men at the top either have no clue or do not comprehend its import. What this means is that the thousands of young boys and girls who have horned their soccer skills in preparation for the bigger stage are left with no outlet to express their talent. Tragic.

“Of late, we hear positions in ZIFA are up for grabs. Just like in our game of politics, the quality of democracy defines the nature of candidates vying for presidential positions. In marketing, we know that when the barriers to entry are high, it is only investors with deep, resource-bound pockets that attempt to take on the market. The very reason why ‘everybody’ has a kombi is that it is easier to register a bus than it is for an airline. For the same reason, the fact that ‘everybody’ wants to have a go at ZIFA presidency means that its standards of entry, its delivery milestones are low. Had it been that previous ‘regimes’ had set a high standard of performance-based delivery, it is only the brave and the able who would attempt to fill their boots.”.Source: Byo24News


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