Mighty War­riors in limbo

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Harare Bureau

DE­SPITE Fifa’s di­rec­tive that is­sues around women’s foot­ball should be dealt with as a mat­ter of ur­gency, Zifa haven’t re­stored san­ity and the elec­tion date is set to lapse.

The women’s foot­ball elec­tions were pen­cilled for this Satur­day but it is clear that won’t hap­pen since the elec­tion roadmap has not been put in place.

Women’s foot­ball has been op­er­at­ing with­out a sub­stan­tive leader since April last year when Miriam Sibanda was sus­pended.

And when Fifa point per­son Ash­ford Mamelodi came here in Septem­ber to meet sev­eral foot­ball stake­hold­ers, he urged the as­so­ci­a­tion to quickly re­solve women’s foot­ball prob­lems. A par­al­lel struc­ture has been op­er­at­ing within the women’s foot­ball league with a splin­ter group la­belled rebels or­gan­is­ing their matches with­out the as­so­ci­a­tion’s bless­ings. They even threat­ened to with­draw their play­ers from na­tional duty un­til they get due recog­ni­tion.

“For things like women’s foot­ball for ex­am­ple, I re­ally don’t know why we should con­tinue to have prob­lems,” said Mamelodi.

“This one should have been nipped in the bud. Our view when the new ex­ec­u­tive came in, we made it clear there is a pend­ing ur­gent mat­ter. So, I mean, we re­quest that the women’s foot­ball is­sues be ad­dressed ur­gently be­cause this doesn’t have any­thing with the debt, it is just about mak­ing sure that the women’s foot­ball fra­ter­nity is or­gan­ised and they de­ter­mine their lead­er­ship and go back to busi­ness.”

Zifa vice-pres­i­dent Omega Sibanda re­it­er­ated last month that elec­tions for women’s foot­ball will go ahead on Oc­to­ber 22. But a week be­fore the elec­tion date, there is noth­ing on the ground re­lat­ing to the polls.

Yes­ter­day, Zifa spokesper­son Xolisani Gwe­sela said the elec­toral com­mit­tee headed by Sello Nare is ex­pected to sit this week to come up with a new date for the elec­tions as well as the road map. The lead­er­ship vacuum in women’s foot­ball has been detri­men­tal to the Mighty War­riors. They will par­tic­i­pate at the Africa Women Cup of Na­tions next month in Cameroon from Novem­ber 19 to De­cem­ber 3 but they are yet to get into camp.

Other na­tions have be­gun their prepa­ra­tions in earnest en­gag­ing in friendly matches while Zim­babwe, who are in the same group with the hosts, South Africa and Egypt, have only man­aged to meet the North Africans in a prepara­tory match.

Zifa have said they are still mo­bil­is­ing re­sources for the team to get into camp and Gwe­sela said by to­mor­row they should be a hav­ing a clearer po­si­tion on when the team will re­port into camp.

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