‘All points to a Banda vic­tory’

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Gift Banda

FIRSTLY, it’s im­por­tant to make it clear that Gift Banda is not en­ter­ing this elec­tion to fight per­son­al­i­ties but to try and im­prove our foot­ball.

Be­ing a for­mer Pre­mier Soc­cer League club boss and a for­mer Zifa board mem­ber, I have no­ticed quite a num­ber of anom­alies in the way our foot­ball is be­ing run. But we have to give ku­dos to in­cum­bent pres­i­dent Philip Chiyangwa. He has done a great job if you look at how our na­tional team has per­formed. But there are a lot of short­com­ings. The Pre­mier Soc­cer League clubs have been mis­treated, the con­sti­tu­tion con­tin­ues to be vi­o­lated and ju­nior foot­ball is vir­tu­ally dead. Women’s foot­ball no longer gets fund­ing and yet dur­ing the Cuth­bert Dube era, part of the Fifa grants would cas­cade down to the grass­roots.

This is some­thing that we thought this new ad­min­is­tra­tion led by Chiyangwa would con­tinue do­ing but they haven’t. It’s sad be­cause the girl child has suf­fered de­spite the Mighty War­riors hav­ing been a flag bearer in re­cent years.

PSL clubs are reel­ing fi­nan­cially and have be­come a vic­tim of the Caf Club Li­cens­ing sys­tem.

A res­o­lu­tion was made for PSL clubs to get Caf A Li­censed coaches and yet Zifa has done noth­ing to fa­cil­i­tate the cour­ses.

It means some PSL clubs end up be­ing forced to pay two coaches at once, pay their coach with­out a Caf A Li­cense but with a three or five-year con­tract and then pay a new re­cruit with the req­ui­site papers.

We need to put en­abling poli­cies and not push for poli­cies that leave our clubs drained. We have to as­sist our clubs to run prof­itably and meet Fifa re­quire­ments.

I was the youngest club owner at Njube Sun­downs, which ran in the top flight from 1996 to 2009.

I un­der­stand what it means to run a PSL club, what it means for clubs in­volved in grass­roots and need sup­port fi­nan­cially so that they con­tinue to churn out tal­ent year af­ter year.

As much as we might cel­e­brate the achieve­ments by the War­riors, we need to think of to­mor­row. We have bril­liant play­ers in the na­tional team but af­ter they are gone, what’s next? Do we have a sound feeder sys­tem? I be­lieve we don’t. Where are our ju­nior teams? They are not there. Where are our ju­nior leagues? They are dor­mant.

Why am l so pas­sion­ate about ju­nior foot­ball? Be­cause I am one of the very few peo­ple who gave ju­niors an op­por­tu­nity when I was Njube Sun­downs boss.

The likes of Tha­bani Ka­mu­soko, Ed­die Mashiri, Sam­son Cho­ruwa, Sageby San­daka, Stan­ford Ncube came through our ranks. That’s where I want to come in and make an im­pact and use my ex­per­tise to re­vive ju­nior foot­ball devel­op­ment. I have de­cided to come in be­cause to me, foot­ball is a call­ing. Re­gard­less of how much you want to just go and sit in the stands and watch, foot­ball will al­ways call you back. I feel sad about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion where clubs keep on re­cy­cling old play­ers.

Nowa­days we are more re­sults driven, which in the long run kills our foot­ball. I am mov­ing alone, I don’t want a pact. If peo­ple go into Zifa as a pact, they don’t cor­rect each other when things go wrong be­cause they are friends. We should not go there car­ry­ing each other, ev­ery­one should be on his own, sell what­ever idea they have of im­prov­ing foot­ball to the coun­cilors on their own. I have been talk­ing to the coun­cilors, they now have my man­i­festo and from what I am get­ting, all is point­ing to a vic­tory for Gift Banda.

Which brings me to an­other is­sue — the coun­cilors. Have we treated them to the best of our abil­i­ties? Have they been ac­corded their sta­tus as the own­ers of this game? The an­swer is no. When the coun­cilors go to the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium to watch the War­riors, they strug­gle to gain en­trance. These are the par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of our foot­ball but they are not be­ing rec­og­nized prop­erly.

Yet you find close friends of ad­min­is­tra­tors and hang­ers-on packed in the VVIP sec­tion for free. Those are smaller things that do not re­quire any money but re­quire foot­ball minds.

I sat down and looked at the me­dia, which I be­lieve should al­ways re­mind ad­min­is­tra­tors of where we are go­ing wrong so that we im­prove.

Once the me­dia stops its over­sight role, it then makes us sit on our lau­rels . Me­dia must keep us on our toes so that we de­liver what we prom­ise in our man­i­festos.

Zifa needs to equip foot­ball writ­ers by ex­pos­ing them to in­ter­na­tional trends.

The Zifa con­sti­tu­tion con­tin­ues to be vi­o­lated. You saw how the run up to this elec­tion was han­dled by the elec­toral com­mit­tee. We need to have a le­git­i­mate elec­toral com­mit­tee known and rec­og­nized by the As­sem­bly.

I also feel there’s need to push for re­bates and in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies that sup­port foot­ball be­cause they are help­ing from the game. If foot­ball is taken care of, with the sup­port of Gov­ern­ment, we can re­ally go far. But we are still lag­ging be­hind. The good thing is we have a real sports-per­son, Kirsty Coven­try, at the helm of the Sports Min­istry and this should

help us go­ing for­ward.

“It’s nor­mal for Simba (Chi­nani) to at­tract such in­ter­est given his per­for­mances at Dy­namos in the sec­ond half of the sea­son,” said Ushendibaba.

De­scribed by DeMbare coach Chigove as a shin­ing star be­fore get­ting a rare en­dorse­ment from as­sis­tant gaffer Mu­rape Mu­rape, Chi­nani has slowly con­vinced pun­dits he could be Dy­namos’ next big find af­ter Ta­tenda Mku­ruva, who is now based in Zam­bia.

“I am aware peo­ple are start­ing to com­pare me with Mku­ruva but I haven’t reached those lev­els yet. Mku­ruva is one of my idols and I still have a lot to do be­fore I reach his level.

“I have to work hard, es­pe­cially on my ball distri­bu­tion and foot­work,” said Chi­nani.

Gift Banda Gift Banda, who is vy­ing for the Zifa vice pres­i­dency post against in­cum­bent Omega Sibanda, spoke­toThe Sun­day Mail SportRe­porter Langton Nyak­wenda in Harare last week.

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