ZIFA must shape up


ZIFA is not in the intensive care unit, it is not in rehabilitation, it is not on life support, ZIFA is dead, we said at one time during the era of the disgraced Cuthbert Dube.
A new body, vibrant, full of life is what is required, owners of the game wailed.
And the departure of Dube and the coming in of the flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa ushered in hope.
Thus far he has tried his best to restore to life the association that had been suffocated with maladministration.
But current events at ZIFA House have some of us worried; will we be taken back to the biblical Egypt.
We have no beef with, nor do we plan to get personal with the young man, Wicknell Chivhayo, who has been extending financial support to the team.
This is what we fought for to see our own helping and assisting their people.
What we take great exception to is ZIFA’s abrogation of its mandate to one individual.
Chivhayo has no obligation whatsoever to support the national team.
His support is purely philanthropic.
And at whatever moment he decides to pull-out and stop extending support all we can say is thank you and not cry foul.
We have not sold ZIFA to Chivhayo.
Thus ZIFA must wake up; we gave it a mandate to turn around our soccer.
In all honesty and fairness, the association cannot say that Chivhayo is the grand strategy they have in place to transform the fortunes of the association.
We asked for leaders with a vision.
A vision that would outlive and continue well after their term of office.
A leadership with a deep sense of nationhood. A leadership that realises that football is part of our identity which must be protected, preserved and perpetuated for posterity.
Now if they begin to behave as if they sold the association to the young man Chivhayo we get worried.
Like we said above, the young man has volunteered and any day, at any time he can stop sponsoring the team and we have no right to cry foul.
His is an act of philanthropy.
But the leadership of ZIFA did not get into office on benevolence, they were chosen by people for their perceived abilities.
And surely their abilities must be beyond seeing Chivhayo as the sole saviour of our football.
When we have stakeholders acting as if an injury to the ego and pride of a benefactor is the end of our football then we get very worried.
The leadership of ZIFA must be out there courting sponsors.
It is actually sad to note that Chivhayo is getting nothing out of his relationship with the national team.
His name is not on the jerseys of the team, meaning that this is not a mutually beneficial relationship.
And what it means is that this is not a sustainable relationship.
ZIFA must in the short-term come up with a sustainable plan to raise money for the welfare of players and the technical department.
How does the national team coach feel, knowing that his salary is dependant not on the association employing him but on the whim of a benefactor.
Does the benefactor cater for his medical aid and other allowances?
May we remind Mr Chiyangwa that during his campaigns, he promised to bring in corporate sponsorship, not just individuals.
We hope talks are ongoing with these sponsors.


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