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Tapera is not the problem

Who is the cause of the Zimbabwe Warriors' disastrous fall in South Africa on June 7 and June 11?

Who is the cause of the Zimbabwe Warriors' disastrous fall in South Africa on June 7 and June 11?

That is the question Zimbabwe football followers have been trying to find answers to after the Warriors fell 3-1 to South Africa and 2-0 to, of all teams — the once toothless Crocodiles of Lesotho.

That Lesotho went on to lose 1-0 at home to 'little' Rwanda — four days later — speaks volumes of how far the Warriors of Zimbabwe have fallen.

In fact, the Warriors are rock bottom in what looks like an easy group with only two points from four matches, five points behind joint leaders Benin, Rwanda, and South Africa, who are on seven points.

Lesotho have five points while Nigeria have three points but it is how the Warriors have fallen from grace to grass that is the major talking point.

All sorts of theories are being drummed up as to what exactly went wrong with some pointing fingers at coach Jairos Tapera and questioning his tactics and team selection while those who know their football better rightly have their fingers pointed at the Zifa normalisation committee.

Surely, we can call Tapera all sorts of names but any coach could have made the same mistakes Tapera made given that he trained with his players only two days before the game against Lesotho having assembled four days earlier.

Surely, against Lesotho, Tapera fielded the players in wrong positions and got his tactics all wrong but against South Africa, the team improved greatly despite leaving out some of his best players due to outside forces.

We are not saying Tapera should stay on as Warriors coach, but what we are simply putting across is that - judging by the performance against South Africa — Tapera could have come up with a winning team if he had been appointed long back.

Surely, even a coach from the moon would not have produced miracles with the Warriors having been in camp for only two days before important assignments like the World Cup qualifiers, and worse still against our neighbours.

Without sounding in defence of Tapera, there was this promise — in play — from the Warriors in the game against the Bafana Bafana that given time together and a long term coach — or Tapera — this Warriors side could prove a handful to the best African football has to offer.

Instead of pointing fingers at Tapera, blame should be on the Zifa NC who took six months to appoint a coach when they actually knew that Zimbabwe had immediate World Cup commitments to take care of.

Blame should also be on the same NC for appointing a coach on interim basis and for that matter four days before a World Cup game, and worse selecting players for him to use.

Blame should be on the NC for firing coach Baltermar Brito when the Brazilian had built a good relationship with the players and had also collected two points under difficult conditions against Rwanda and Nigeria.

Blame should also be on the NC for instructing Tapera not to play certain players against South Africa for matters that had nothing to do with football.

In fact, the list of atrocities in the hands of the NC are too many, including deliberately delaying holding Zifa elections in order to consolidate power for the sake of financial benefit.

Blame should also be on the Zimbabwean government for failing in more than 10 years to renovate the National Sports Stadium up to the required Fifa standards and thereby forcing the Warriors to play home games in foreign lands.

That done, the solution is for Fifa to acknowledge that they made a mistake in their choice of Zimbabwean football leaders and ask the NC to step down and pave the way for new brooms to sweep the Zifa House.

*For your comments, views, and suggestions mkariati@gmail.com or WhatsApp on 0773 266 779.

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