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ZIFA apologises

by Staff reporter
14 Oct 2021 at 06:19hrs | Views
ZIFA have said they take full responsibility for the 2022 World Cup debacle, which saw the Warriors crashing out of the contest, after three defeats in their four qualifiers.

The senior national football team picked just a point, in their first match against South Africa, and lost three in a row.

They scored just once, from the penalty spot, in their 1-3 defeat at the hands of Ghana.

"The Zimbabwe Football Association sincerely apologises to all football stakeholders for the senior national team's back-to-back losses to Ghana and the eventual elimination from the FIFA World Cup 2022TM qualifiers,'' the association said, in a statement, released by their spokesperson, and chief firefighter, Xolisani Gwesela.

"We fully understand the disappointment that comes with every unfavourable result from the national teams because we know just how much Zimbabweans love and support their team.

"The entire ZIFA structure from councillors, board, secretariat, the technical team and the players wanted a positive result, but it was not to be. Be that as it may, we strongly believe that results are coming soon.

"We are confident that the technical team and the players have what it takes to beat the best teams on the continent on a good day.

"ZIFA will take lessons from the two matches, and without compromising performance on the remaining World Cup matches, shift attention to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"The final two FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers will also be used to further prepare for the AFCON finals.

"ZIFA, as the institution responsible for football in Zimbabwe, therefore, takes full responsibility of the Warriors' failure to qualify for World Cup, irrespective of several impediments that further complicated the journey.''

They called on support to be thrown behind the plyers.

"In that regard, the association encourages all stakeholders to support the players, and desist from insulting the players, secretariat and technical team who all gave it their all albeit on a losing cause,'' read the statement.

"It is this commitment to their country that we salute more than the result.

"To suggest therefore that the team was not committed is grossly unfair to these dedicated group who aspired to do well for their beloved nation.

"We are proud, therefore, of the Warriors' performances despite lack of a positive results. Their commitment was clear to us to see.''

The association also addressed the issue of how Ghana arrived earlier in Harare, for the reverse fixture, while the Warriors flew home the following day.

"Further, ZIFA has received numerous inquiries from stakeholders on why Ghana arrived in Zimbabwe earlier than our own Warriors after the first leg,'' the statement read.

"Their fear was that ZIFA had probably not prepared adequately for the two matches.

"While Ghana flew directly from Ghana to Harare, on a government-funded chartered flight, our Warriors used a commercial flight secured using the association's resources.

"The flight route used by the Warriors to travel from Accra to Harare was the fastest, on the earliest possible flight.

"For the first leg in Ghana, players travelled directly to the match venue to reduce travel distances, which would have affected their preparedness for the match.

"ZIFA hopes that the return of local football competitions previously suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions will increase national team coaches' selection options.

"The ZIFA board and secretariat will work tirelessly and institute corrective measures to ensure that the Warriors emerge victorious for the future and create a positive narrative.

"We are now dedicating efforts on resumption of football leagues, junior football and AFCON tournament.

"Details shall be shared with the nation as we move on.''

Source - The Herald
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