State of Zimbabwean football: Players speak out

The wilderness Zimbabwean football finds itself in has resulted in players pleading with authorities for normalcy to return.

Zimbabwe was suspended by FIFA for third party interference after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA administration.

Consequently, Zimbabwe cannot take part in international football at all levels and clubs were barred from participating in inter-club competitions, a development players see as a stumbling block to the development of their careers.

“An African proverb says “when elephants fight, its the soil that suffers most”. As local footballers we have been feeling that very same pain and suffering. The FIFA/CAF suspension has made us way off and is threatening the quality of our lives forever as local based players in Zimbabwe. Regardless of our difference we are one and we kindly ask for immidiate action to be taken to bring back recognized football in Zimbabwe.
#PleaseRestoreOurCareers,” Chicken Inn goalkeeper Donovan Benard wrote on Facebook.

“Why is it football in Zimbabwe is not taken seriously ….us players we take football as our life. Now there is no Club to represent our country both in CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND CAF CONFEDERATION this really pains us as footballers moreover our National team is not participating see
Please bring back CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, CAF CONFEDERATION not forgetting our own Warriors,” wrote Simba Bhora striker Tinashe Balakasi.

“It is the dream of all Zimbabwean footballer including myself to play abroad and be financially stable change lives of our local communities and families. However, the suspension on the local football has come as a hindrance to achieving that dream because of a lot of opportunities to be scouted let alone representing our beloved Zimbabwe. The more time we spend without resolving the issues at hand, the more we throw many local talent in the dustbin. We are asking for urgency in solving the problems in our local football and for the suspension to lifted in no time so that our sore proffesion is recognized regionally and world wide #RestoreOurFootballCareers⚽❤️🇿🇼,” said CAPS United midfielder Emmanuel Mandiranga.

Vietnam-based former Dynamos defender Victor Kamhuka weighed in on the issue and said: “Football is not just a game to us,it’s our job. We look after families and some players local based get a chance to go play in big and better clubs through national team games and tournaments. But when the national team in not there,how can players be seen?”

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