Soccer fans, analysts, and general sports lovers are unanimous in their agreement that Zifa are to blame for the Nations Cup disaster because of their poor handling of the Warriors especially in the appointment of coaches.
They criticised ZIFA for appointing Madinda Ndlovu and Norman Mapeza as coaches last year, saying this was not a good move.
Highlanders fan Simbai Mahachi says that draw against Cape Verde at home cost the Warriors their chance of qualifying for the football festival. ‘There is nowhere in the world where two coaches with the same authority have been appointed to coach one team. That can only happen in Zimbabwe,’ says Mahachi.
Sports analyst Tawanda Tafirenyika said Zifa’s tribal politics brought the Warriors house down. ‘It appeared there was a fight in Zifa in the appointment of coaches. Others had personal interests which they were pursuing and that did not help the team.’
Tafirenyika said in other countries the football federation leaders would have resigned for letting the nation down. ‘Football leaders are judged through the performance of the national team. If the team fails like the Warriors have done. It means the authorities have also failed.’
Many others Radio VOP spoke to are of the opinion that the Zifa board had no knowledge of coaching. They said a technical committee not the board should select coaches.
The Warriors finished third in their group behind Mali who qualified and Cape Verde who lost out of a place on goal difference.
This is the third time in a row that the Warriors have failed to qualify for the Nations Cup having previously missed out of the 2008 and 2010 Nations Cup. The Warriors last made the football festival in 2006 under the coaching guidance of Charles Mhlauri.
The Warriors will now focus their attention on the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in which they have been drawn in the same group with Egypt, Guinea, and the winners between Mozambique and the Comoros.