Aspiring Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Alois Bunjira, believes the country’s football governing body, as well as Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić should have done better in preparing for CHAN 2021.

The former Warriors and CAPS United winger’s comments come in the wake of the football-loving public’s still-to-dry tears over the manner in which the national team dismally- performed at the continental showpiece in Cameroon, where they bowed out in the first round after losing all their three games in Group A.

Reacting to the shambolic display by Logarušić’s troops on Facebook, Bunjira, who has made known of his intentions to run for the highest office in Zimbabwean football administration, insists ZIFA should have prepared better, the same goes for the under-fire Croat.

“We qualified for the the CHAN tournament way back, almost a year ago. That is when we knew we would be participating at this tournament .So it breaks my heart when I hear people giving the excuse that we didn’t have a league running all year and that is the reason we had unfit players and didn’t do well at the tournament. ZIFA got a lot of money for the COVID relief, from FIFA. If we knew about the tournament for almost a year, wasn’t it actually perfect that we didn’t have a league going on ,and a perfect time to put the team in camp for a prolonged time in the bubble that the SRC recommended for such a long time? Wasn’t it a blessing that we didn’t have a league running? Wasn’t it the perfect time to even set up camp in a country like Zambia or SA where their league was ongoing and make sure the squad was well tuned and well conditioned for the tournament, playing matches while in camp in a country with football going on? You remember South Korea ?How did they prepare for that Korea/Japan World Cup? Didn’t they take their whole squad out to South America for months to prepare, minus the local league ?Did they not reach the semi finals of the 2002 World Cup with their players not involved in league football action in their country? We knew we didn’t have the local league running. We knew the tournament was coming. What did we do in mitigation? What did we do to make sure that our players were well conditioned for the tournament, in light of no league action ? Oh please…that cannot be an excuse .Call it sleeping on the job,” he wrote.

Continued the former Zimbabwe international: “We had a whole national team coach earning $7 000 a month. He knew about this tournament well in advance. What plans for the preparation did he put through to ZIFA ?He should be professional enough to know what kind of condition he wanted his players .He knew there was no league going on. What plans did he put in place ?What did he request from ZIFA? He cannot tell us “Ha there was no league ” when he had all the time in the world to assemble his squad well in advance and present a training program that would mitigate against the non action of the players at league level.

Then comes my biggest problem. While he knew about the need to condition players ahead of the tournament ,what did he do when Camp was finally organised ?He started holding trials ,playing any PSL club he could find available, selecting new players every week. He was supposed to be coaching, training and doing combinations ,while conditioning the players.  But he was busy with trials. Who does that, preparing for a tournament ?The sad thing is that he didn’t even know the players in Zimbabwe. So why not trust the assistant coaches who gave him the initial list ,and then bring tactics and acumen to the table ?How exactly does one see a National team material player from just one friendly(training ) match ?Who does that ?A whole national team coach calling up players to the national team for an important tournament based on one training match ?What message was he sending to his assistant coaches ?Does that bring harmony in camp when the top coach clearly doesn’t trust his assistants who gave him the first list of players? Isn’t it that the assistant coaches have known these players for years? Training and conditioning time was wasted while the coach was holding trials. Who then is to blame for a lack of cohesion and lack of fitness at the tournament?
Players contracted Covid-19 while in Camp, when they had tested negative on arrival. Could it be because the team was busy playing friendly matches with teams whose players were coming from home ,and doing God knows whatever ,in their free time, when the national team was supposed to be in camp in a secure bubble, training? Who then is to blame for the Covid-19 cases in camp ?
It is the Coach’s duty to draft a preparation plan for a tournament .What did the coach prepare? What was his preparation plan for the tournament that he presented to the association?
Where was the ZIFA technical director when all this was happening? Why did the technical director allow the coach that free reign to do circus stuff in camp? For me holding trials for a national team while preparing for a tournament that is 3 weeks away ,is comedy kruvah. What was the script given to the coach by the Technical Director? What was his role in all this ?Did the TD agree on the trials while the team was in camp ?How could the Technical Director just watch and let that happen? Wasn’t there a plan for the camp?”