THE football mother-body, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), have themselves to blame for the Warriors’ dismal performance at the African Nations Championships in Rwanda after failing to prepare the team adequately, at least according to the Zimbabwe Soccer Coaches Association (Zisca).
Zisca, an organisation that handles the welfare of soccer coaches in the country, has urged Zifa to take responsibility for ‘throwing the national team to the wolves’ and expecting positive results yet fully aware that the Warriors had not played a competitive match ahead of Chan.
And for that Callisto Pasuwa who falls under the organisation’s umbrella by virtue of being the Warriors coach should be exonerated from taking the blame for failing to register a win against Zambia and Mali, results which got the team booted out of the competition.
Zisca public relations officer Godfrey Paradza said a review meeting that is expected to be called by Zifa in the aftermath of Chan should not be used as a witch hunt.
“Review meetings are a daily occurrence which serves to analyse an event, in this instance the Chan tournament and as Zisca we hope the meeting will not be used as a witch hunt or blame game. No friendly matches were organised for the team except for a practice match against Harare City, a team that was already in the off season. Pasuwa was working against all odds given the shambolic preparations and we are saying there is no substitute for thorough preparations when going into a major tournament,” said Paradza.
Zisca is calling for patience on the part of Zifa describing the disgraced Warriors team that comprised locally based players as a work in progress.
“A lot of positives should be drawn from the matches the team lost in Rwanda considering the squad comprised mostly young players who either came from the Under-23 structures or had not played in continental competitions.
We call upon the new Zifa leadership, which by the way has done a sterling job in the short space of time since taking office, to exercise patience and tolerance,” he said.
In a sign that the custodians of the game take responsibility for the poor results Zifa board member Piraishe Mabhena, who was head of delegation in Rwanda acknowledged his association had also “let the team down by not providing the international friendlies that they badly needed”.
If Pasuwa is spared the axe, his next assignment with the Warriors is 2017 Afcon first leg qualifier against Swaziland in Mbabane on 23 March.