Mapeza or Gumbo? Fans torn apart

The senior national soccer team’s impending failure to qualify for South Africa 2013 and Brazil 2014 continues to divide the nation. Fans have been torn apart over who should coach the Warriors - suspended Norman Mapeza or acting coach Rahman Gumbo.

Blamed - Rahman Gumbo
Blamed – Rahman Gumbo

Their coaching history, credentials and playing styles have been analysed and insults have been traded, especially on Facebook.

The Warriors’ success or failure to qualify lies where it always has – 53 Livingstone Avenue, Harare, where the Zimbabwe Football Association offices are. That is where the Warriors ticket to any major tournament has in most cases been torn to shreds; and that is where it is being slowly but inexorably shredded right now. Neither Gumbo nor Mapeza administers anything there. The two are just pawns in deep-rooted divisions, which leave the mother-body wailing about the existence of a so-called hidden hand whenever the Warriors post bad results.

Amid fans’ placards calling for Mapeza, insults against Gumbo and tribal accusations being traded on Facebook, the nation’s chances continue to go up in smoke. ZIFA wrote the current tragic script when it suspended 80 players over the “Asiagate” scam – a noble cause badly executed. The timing of the suspensions, the time it has taken to clear some of the players and failure to prosecute anyone shows that in pursuit of heroism, ZIFA administrators will in the end, earn “zeroism”.

Wanted back - Mapeza
Wanted back – Mapeza

ZIFA should have cleared the rest of the players the day former Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta Rushwaya, viewed as the architect of the scam, was cleared of most of the charges. Why it has failed to do so until now boggles the mind. The Warriors’ Achilles Heel now, despite playing good football, has been failure to convert just one more of the many chances they create during games. Had that happened, we would have drawn 2-2 away to Burundi, 1-1 at home to Guinea and won 1-0 away at Mozambique.

However, this could not happen because Musona had a forgettable season in Germany, while Mushekwi, Malajila and Sadomba are all suspended.Judging by current form, Mushekwi and Kingstone Nkatha, who scored for fun in SA towards the end of the season, would be the best striking combination, but Gumbo cannot have them, because ZIFA has suspended them. Another option, Malajila, is also out, while defence pillars, Thomas Sweswe, Gilbert Banda and Method Mwanjali have been declared “untouchable”.

Post published in: Football

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