Suddenly, there is renewed hope that the football-living public will watch the Warriors again this year.
The country’s senior men’s national soccer team was disqualified from the upcoming Afcon 2023 qualifiers because the suspension imposed by Fifa for government interference, after the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa executive was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), was not lifted.
Fifa ordered that the only way the ban can be lifted is if the Kamambo-led administration is reinstated.
CAF has given the Warriors yet another lifeline, by including Zimbabwe in the CHAN draw, on the same condition – that the suspension should be lifted at least two weeks before matchday 1.
The lifeline has the same condition as the Afcon qualifiers but unfortunately, it will have the same outcome —the SRC will cast a deaf ear to it.
The SRC admitting that the decision to suspend the Zifa board was ill-advised and impulsive, is something that will always remain wishful thinking among football fans.
Kamambo being reinstated, which is something the future of Zimbabwean football depends on, will never happen, not because it’s impossible, but because those with the power to do so are not interested.
In the eyes of the Gerald Mlotshwa-led SRC, the suspension of Kamambo is the entry point to solving the problems affecting the game.
The harsh reality though is that the local game, which has been in the intensive care unit for years, even before Kamambo beat Phil Chiyangwa for the ZIFA presidency, is dead now.
Apart from the national team not playing international football, the national U-23 side will not be active, meaning there will be no development whatsoever.
Is the SRC aware of how much football means to Zimbabweans? If they do, is it just arrogance on their part, to not see that they messed up?
Is it arrogance or ignorance? Arrogance is worse because it does not in any way leave room for growth, whereas ignorance, if recognized, invites correction.
Suppose the SRC is just proud and arrogant not to see that they blundered, what about Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry?
What is her say in all this?
Zimbabwe football, a game loved by millions, is being strangled by one man?