Inside Sport: Give credit where it is due

From left: Former Dynamos chairman Lincoln Mutasa, lawyer Nyasha Tashinga Sanyamandwe, former Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza and ex-Highlanders defender Sikhumbuzo Ndebele.

WHAT some of us never saw coming has happened and Zimbabwean football has turned another page with Zimbabwe’s return to international football and the coming in of the proven Lincoln Mutasa as Zimbabwean football’s supremo.

Some of us never thought something like this would happen as quickly as it did as we were always skeptical of the manner in which the Sports and Recreation Commission was handling matters.

Yet — on their part — they were moving slowly but surely and if there is need to give credit where it is due, then the SRC deserves that credit.

Not only for convincing Fifa to change their line of thinking on Zimbabwe, but for also leading to the appointment of a football normalization committee made up of people whom Zimbabwean football itself respects.

Some might argue that Nyasha Sanyamandwe knows nothing about Zimbabwean football but with the likes of Rosemary Mugadza, Skumbuzo Ndebele and Mutasa by the side, she will learn one or two things about the Zimbabwean game although her role is mainly legal guidance.

However, those who were heavily on the left wing of the SRC do not have to hang their heads in shame as after all, their heavy criticism might also have led to the good of what is on the ground today.

What is also refreshing is that the appointment of Mutasa, Mugadza, and Ndebele, appeases former players who have always been crying of being sidelined in the running of the Zimbabwean game.

Now that they have been given the chance, the onus is now on the trio to prove that former players are the real deal in running the Zimbabwean game right now — in the future — and should also have been in the past.

The real first test, though, is not far away following the conduction of the draw for the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers and the revelation that the games themselves would be beginning on November 13.

On that premise, everything else comes second, and first should be the appointment of a national team coach who will take charge of the Warriors in those matches against Benin, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.

The warning for those in charge of the appointing process is that the choice of a national team coach is a hot potato that plays a big role in determining the future of any football leadership the world over.

The coach’s subsequent results always have a strong bearing on the appointing authority and the good they are, the better, but the poor, they are, a dark image of the appointing authority is created.

In that case, we do not have to go far in picking an example than what happened here in Zimbabwe three or so years ago when Zifa appointed Zdravko Logarusic of Croatia as Warriors coach.

Few can dispute that it is Loga’s dismal results which sparked off the problems which followed Zifa until the last days of the Felton Kamambo reign.

So, Mutasa and Friends will have to be spot on in their choice of coach but that appointment has to be treated as a matter of urgency because there is no time between now and the start of the World Cup qualifiers.

The coach needs time to experiment with the players to his heart’s content in serious friendly matches before coming up with a team that we can safely call the Warriors.

The Warriors have no money worries for those friendlies after SRC chairman Gerald Mhlotswa revealed that the government has agreed to fund both the Warriors and the Mighty Warriors.

However, the most important thing right now is the appointment of the national team coach but the question is : whom should we trust — A local or a foreign  ?

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