Mapeza: Possibility of FIFA ban affected the players at AFCON

thumb image

Former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza says the possibility of a FIFA ban on Zimbabwe, affected his players’ psychologically at the AFCON finals in Cameroon.

The Warriors’ participation at the 33rd edition of the continental showpiece was hanging by the a thread before the start of the tournament, due to the possibility of a ban, emanating from the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC)’s decision to suspend the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA board.

FIFA gave Zimbabwe until January 3, exactly seven days before the Warriors took on Senegal, to reinstate Kamambo and company of face a ban.

Mapeza, whose charges crashed out in the first round after defeats to Senegal and Malawi, revealed the ban at some point worried his troops.

“My biggest worry for them (the players) was that they would be asking me, ‘coach are we going to be banned, are we going to go home now?”, Mapeza said, as cited by The Standard.

“I think psychologically some of them got affected but I spoke to them and said look guys let’s focus on what is at hand at the moment.”

“If we put more focus on what is going to happen, whether we are going to get banned or what, it’s not going to help us. I think that talk helped us a lot in terms of the psychological side of the game,” he added.

Mapeza’s contract expired after the AFCON finals but he is the favourite to be given the job on a permanent basis.