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Warriors miss voting for Fifa awards

by Staff reporter
25 Sep 2019 at 06:36hrs | Views
THE Warriors, represented by their coach and captain, were conspicuous by their absence as the global football family chose the 2019 FIFA World Player and Coach of the Year.

The awards were held in the Italian city of Milan on Monday night, with Argentine and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi winning the men's award.

While the majority of the FIFA membership took part in the exercise, except just a few, the Warriors were not represented in the vote as neither their coach nor their captain voted.

ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, yesterday said he would require some clarification from their technical director, Wilson Mutekede, who was said to be away in Italy having graced the FIFA awards night. Maybe, ZIFA were caught in a fix given that the deadline for the submission of the nominations came at the time when the association had said they had dissolved the national team.

That even the coach and captain of Eritrea - Africa's lowest-ranked football country whose record top-scorer has two goals while its most capped player has just eight caps - took part in the voting process, puts the absence of the Warriors representatives into perspective.

Ranked 207 in the world, only higher than Bahamas, Anguilla, San Marino and the Cook Islands, Eritrea have also had to grapple mass defections, every time the national team plays outside the country, with scores of the players seeking asylum.

Four years ago, 10 players refused to return home after a World Cup qualifier in Botswana, where they sought, and were granted asylum. The East Africans were not the only lightweights who took part in the poll.

The tiny South Pacific Ocean island nation of America Samoa, whose land size is only 200 square kilometres, also had their coach and captain taking part in the FIFA poll for the awards.

America Samoa's worst defeat, in a World Cup qualifier was a 0-31 loss to Australia on April 11, 2011, while they also lost 0-15 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier to Vanuatu. Their national coach, Lui Tunoa, voted for Guardiola as the Coach of the Year while also included Klopp and Pochettino among his top three.

Their captain, Nicky Salapu, went for Ronaldo as his Player of the Year while his top three had Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Of the COSAFA countries, only Zimbabwe and Madagascar coaches, and captains, did not take part in the voting process for this year's FIFA awards.

Source - the herald