Mixed reaction to decentralisation of Warriors matches

Soccer lovers recently expressed mixed feelings over the pending move by Zifa to have all the national teams play their home matches at venues throughout the country.

Malack Donga
Malack Donga

Zifa vice-president, Omega Sibanda, is on a mission to try and convince the association’s board members to spread national team games to all corners of the country, a move recently made popular by Mbada Diamonds for their annual soccer tournament.

National teams have in the past played most of their matches in Harare, with only a few having been played in Bulawayo.

Sibanda, elected into office a fortnight ago, said his aim was to have all national teams watched live in action by football supporters in towns and cities such as Hwange, Zvishavane, Chiredzi, Mutare and Bulawayo.

Soccer analyst Keutsepilamang Ndebele welcomed the idea, but hinted at challenges that could come with such a move. “I think it’s an inclusive proposal, but I am not sure about its sustainability,” said Ndebele.

“There is an issue of the cost of taking the national team to other areas, which includes the visiting national teams. If the costs are not an issue, it’s ok, but then there is an issue about the support the national team will get from those other stadiums.

“As an idea it’s great and it would be nice if all these issues are not prohibitive and the game can be marketed elsewhere. People should also consider if Masvingo, Hwange, Shabanie and Mutare are acceptable for hosting other senior national teams in their proposals.”

Soccer fan, Malack Donga, said the move would bring unity, if achieved. “The decentralisation of our national team matches will help unite the country. What’s needed is a fair chance for every citizen to have access to the most beautiful game.”

Godfrey Phiri said, “This will help government upgrade not only football facilities, but also other social services that have lagged behind in terms of development.”

Bongani Halimani Ndlovu dismissed the idea as ‘madness’. “Talking of the decentralisation of national team matches when some of these places do not have facilities that meet FIFA standards is mere madness,” he said.

“We all know that there is lack of proper infrastructure when it comes to the stadiums and what we have countrywide are sandy sub-standard stadiums, except for those in Harare and Bulawayo. Whoever proposed the idea should also know that there is no money to develop those mini-stadiums we have. The idea is good, but will remain a dream until we get true independence.”

Former Warriors striker and now football analyst, Alois Bunjira, dismissed the announcement as just cheap politicking.

“Vamwe vanongohumana (Some people always hallucinate). Do we have stadia that meet FIFA standards in Chiredzi or Mutare? Lip service is cheap,” said the former national team livewire.

Post published in: Football

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