Is the ZIFA Standardization Committee undermining national pride?

There is a very good reason why the national anthem is played before a football match involving a country’s national team.

The musical composition, whether long or short, fosters a sense of patriotism, pride and passion among the players representing the country and the fans who watch them do so.

From Zimbabwe’s perspective, the national anthem Raise high the flag of the land of Zimbabwe/ Simudzai Mureza wedu we Zimbabwe/ Kalibusiswe lizwe leZimbabwe, written by Professor Solomon Mutsvairo and composed by Fred Changundega, it has been played before every national team match since 1994.

When the anthem plays, the players touch their hearts to show the deep meaning of having to raise the country’s flag, with the dedication it deserves.

That’s how important the national team is.

There was a time when Peter Ndlovu, arguably the greatest Zimbabwean player of all time, arrived in the country from his base in the United Kingdom, less than three hours before a national team match.

Peter, like his brothers Madinda and the late Adam, represented Zimbabwe on the international stage with distinction, just like the blacks. Wayne and Byron in tennis, as well as the Flowers: Andrew and Grant in cricket.

The importance of the national team can be argued until the cows come home, but in stark contrast, the reckless way it is being handled by the ZIFA Standardization Committee (NC) leaves a lot to be desired.

The administration led by Lincoln Mutasa has reduced the Warriors to an ordinary team that should play games just for the sake of it.

Bizarre decisions, based on ignorance or arrogance and sometimes both, a lack of proper planning and an inability to adapt to the demands of modern football, sum up the waning Warriors brand.

Exactly two weeks before the Warriors resume their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign against Lesotho and South Africa, the country’s senior men’s team is without a coach.

The CN, for reasons known to them, did not extend Baltemar Brito’s mandate as head of the national team, when the Brazilian mentor’s contract expired at the end of last year.

Brito achieved two draws against Rwanda and Nigeria and was keen to continue with the project, but a damning report written by the former Chelsea assistant coach, criticizing the way the NC organized the two matches, reportedly angered to Mutasa and company. .

While in Rwanda, Mutasa lashed out at Zimbabwean journalists covering the two matches who had reported on the Warriors’ reluctance to train ahead of the Nigeria match, citing pending assignments.

The veteran administrator even hinted that his administration would capture a sector of the press, saying: “that’s why we want to create our own media.”

As for the incoming coach, whoever it is, he will have to fly to Zimbabwe, be unveiled at a press conference – if Mutasa and company have the courage to face the media -, acclimatize to Zimbabwean football and prepare for two World Cup qualifiers, all in the next 14 days.

The incoming coach, facing two crucial World Cup qualifying matches, will have to settle for a team selected by people who don’t have the slightest idea of ​​his type of philosophy.

The Warriors team is already formed, as innovative letters to the players’ respective clubs must be sent at least three weeks before an assignment to the national team.

By selecting players without involving a coach, ZIFA does not take World Cup qualification for granted because surely the incoming coach’s first excuse if he fails will be “I didn’t select the players for the squad.”

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