For the third consecutive time, a plane carrying the Zimbabwe senior men’s national soccer team will touch down at a airport in the country hosting the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
Warriors stars will descend on Cameroonian soil for the latest eddition of the continental extravaganza, in January next year.
They were drawn in Group B, alongside 2019 finalists Senegal, Guinea and Malawi, a group Team Manager Wellington Mpandare, just like many others, reckon as a fair one.
One cannot blame any Warriors fan for dreaming big and hope that for the first time ever, Zimbabwe will progress to the knockout stages of the showpiece.
We have avoided the host nation and we are in a relatively fair group in which any team can progress to the round of 16.
As usual, whether or not the team excels, depends on two factors- the coach’s tactical prowess and the manner in which the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA board conducts itself ahead of and during the finals.
Fortunately for the Logarusic-led technical team, they won’t complain of lack of preparation in terms of matches.
By the time the whistle is blown to kick start the AFCON finals in Cameroon, the Warriors would have played six World Cup qualifiers hence the Croat will by then, that is if he is still in charge, know who to take to the finals, in terms personnel.
Loga made a lot of sense in his reaction to the draw, saying there is need to correct the mistakes made at the previous AFCON finals and focus only on the football.
The biggest mistake which needs to be corrected, is letting players spend time protesting over money instead of just focusing on games and formulating their strategy.
ZIFA should normalize paying the players accordingly and on time, to avoid problems which have marred the previous finals (in 2017 and 2019.)
Over to you ZIFA and Logarusic.