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Perspective| FIFA’s lack of due deligence in assembling ZIFA NC stalled progress for Zim football

12 is a distinguished number in Zimbabwean football.

Peter Ndlovu —arguably the greatest player to ever come out of this football-mad country, wore the number 12 Warriors shirt in a glittering international career spanning nearly two decades.

The Flying Elephant, as Ndlovu was affectionately-known, scored 37 goals in 81 appearances for Zimbabwe and is an individual whose name will forever be etched in the history of Zimbabwean football.

Tha record tally of 37 goals scored by Ndlovu with the number 12 shirt on his back, has not been broken by anyone.

12 years after hanging his boots, the former national team captain was in Rwanda last month, and saw with his very own eyes, the first Warriors goal in a competitive match since the FIFA suspension was lifted.

Interestingly, that goal, a cracker of a free kick, was scored by a player wearing the number 12 shirt —Walter Musona

12 is indeed a number worth talking about for the whole day as far as Zimbabwean football is concerned, but for now, it represents the number of days left before the year 2023 ends.

2023 was a year which brought forth a lot of hope for those who have hearts which beat for the local game.

The lifting of Zimbabwe’s 18 months long FIFA suspension imposed on the country for ‘third party interference’ was celebrated widly in the local football circles.

Well, why not? Finally the country had been readmitted to the international football family and anyone who didn’t celebrate that does not love Zimbabwean football.

But FIFA’s failure to do due delligence when they appointed the Normalisation Committee meant that the local game would suffer another year of growth retardation.

With respect to the world governing body and the Lincoln Mutasa-led admistration, the Normalisation Committee comprises of individuals who are strangers to morden football and only God knows what we did as a people to deserve such lack of proficiency.

Under Mutasa and company, Zimbabwean football has experienced many days to forget, chief among them, the Botswana friendly match debacle.

ZIFA announced on October 10, that the Warriors would host Botswana in an international friendly at the National Sports Stadium.

They even sought police escort and match officials for the supposed match, which was instantly dismissed by the Botswana Football Association.

After unsuccessfully trying to force the ZIFA media department to take down the Facebook post which announced the non-existent Botswana game, the Mutasa-led Normalisation Committee, which also used bizzare means like WhatsApp texts to call some Warriors stars abroad for the match, waited for nearly 24 hours to let the nation know there wasn’t going to be any.

The Botswana friendly fiasco was a circus which many will always use as a point of reference in judging the NC’s pedigree.

The NC also tried to play down allegations of sexual harassment labelled against Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi, during the Cosafa Cup in South Africa.

In fact, Rosemary Mugadza, one of the NC members, openly told the complainant in the sexual harassment case, according to a source who won’t be named for obvious reasons, that a man touching her backside is “normal because she is a gown woman”.

 

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