Af­con de­ba­cle

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

The Zim­babwe War­riors bowed out of the Africa Cup of Na­tions on Mon­day night. To­gether with the DRC, they were the only two rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the SADC re­gion. Their de­par­ture from the tour­na­ment in Gabon in the first round ended our hopes as a re­gion. Only two coun­tries – South Africa and Zam­bia – have ever won the cup. Both did not qual­ify for Gabon 2017 and it looks as if it will be a long time be­fore we win it again.

After they bowed out, the War­riors en­dured a lot of crit­i­cism from fans across the world. They were ac­cused of lack­ing pa­tri­o­tism, be­ing greedy and de­mand­ing hefty bonuses be­fore the tour­na­ment, lack­ing depth and be­ing weak.

Oth­ers blame the South African A Premier Soc­cer League. Our league, they ar­gue, is medi­ocre as play­ers only come here for the good money.

The crit­i­cism is un­fair. Play­ers are right to de­mand bonuses. Football is a short ca­reer.

Perti­nently, how do we ex­pect football to thrive in Zim­babwe when noth­ing else does?

Fur­ther, one of the stars of Zim­babwe War­riors, Khama Bil­liat, won the African Cham­pi­ons League with Mamelodi Sun­downs, a South African club. Sun­downs won al­most ev­ery­thing at the CAF Awards.

How soon we for­get.

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