By A Correspondent- Former Zimbabwe international, Tinashe “Father’’ Nengomasha, says Zimbabwe football is now in the intensive care unit and the nation should unite to find a solution to save its national sport.
He feels the Warriors’ poor showing in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers was just another sign of the decay.
“We are in dire situation as a football nation,” said Nengomasha.
“It will be unfair for me to comment on the defeat to Ghana without looking at the bigger picture because our football has been suffering for a long time and the question we should all be looking at is, what is causing this malady?
“Our problems are way bigger than the defeats to Ghana and Ethiopia and our elimination from the World Cup.
“These are just the results of the underlying problem, so, we cannot continue to address the outward problem without treating the root cause.
“There are too many shortcuts in our football and it’s not sustainable, we need to sit down as football stakeholders and try to find out if we have the basics in place.”
The Warriors have been in freefall in the last two years, but their woes became more pronounced following a run of one win in 16 games in the last 12 months, leading to their elimination from the Qatar football jamboree.
Before the back-to-back defeats by Ghana, the Warriors had a dismal run under Croatian Zdravko Logarusic, who set new records for the wrong reasons after winning one game in 14 assignments.
Loga oversaw the opening two games of the World Cup campaign, a draw against South Africa at home, before crashing to a shock 0-1 defeat to Ethiopia.
Mapeza then took over and the Warriors were beaten 1-3 by Ghana away before succumbing to a 0-1 home loss on Tuesday.
“We need to be realistic at times, as a nation we have too many expectations yet we do not plan for the success,” said Nengomasha.
“The whole World Cup campaign has been shambolic.
“Firstly, how did we end up having a coach like Loga, and entrusting him with our team, in such an important tournament?
“What is his track record? What is the impact of the psychological dent that he has left on our team?
“Honestly, 14 games and only one win, where does this leave us in terms of mental fortitude?
“We also need to examine the appointing authority, to understand what exactly they had seen in him, before making the appointment.”
The former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder called for a complete overhaul of the football structures.
Nengomasha believes the current ZIFA administration has contributed to the failure by the national teams.
“I don’t know how this is possible but our football needs a complete overhaul, from the top to the bottom,’’ he said.
‘’We need people who understand football in the offices.
“It doesn’t matter whether one is a former player or not. What is key is having officials with a certain level of football understanding so that correct decisions are made.
“Then, the crucial part of it all, are the junior structures in place to support the national team?
“We used to have junior teams and the reserve sides but it’s now history.
“South Africa have the Diski Challenge, and vibrant national age-group teams, including the one that took part at the recent Olympic Games and now forms a bigger part of their current national team.
“We are always worrying that the coaches have been recycling players in the national team but what is the plan in place to move away from that?
“If I may ask, who is going to be our next big star after Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat?’’
He feels Jordan Zemura and Kelvin Madzongwe played well.
“I am happy for young Jordan Zemura, and to a certain extent Kelvin Madzongwe, from the games that I have watched, for both club and country, Zemura is showing the hunger to do well.
“If he continues with such passion in Cameroon, it will not be surprising to see him moving to a team in the English Premiership after the AFCON tournament.
“We should build our future around such players and invest more in juniors.
“We also need to develop a football identity, as a nation, such that a player that is picked from a local club fits into the national team, without a problem.
“We still have the AFCON tournament coming up, we need to work with what we have and then probably after the AFCON many things need to be changed.”
The Warriors travelled to Ghana in batches and had to use a commercial flight, which took them more than 24 hours in transit, while their opponents arrived much earlier, on a charter flight.
In sharp contrast, scores of ZIFA councilors were flown on a chartered flight from Harare to Cairo for the 2019 AFCON finals.
“Travelling is very key in international football,’’ said Nengomasha.
“It’s very taxing to travel such a long journey and then play the following day.
“The people at the Ghana Football Association probably understood the demands and they decided to charter a flight for their team.
“It was obvious they had enough time to rest, recover and rehydrate after the first game and were more energetic than our boys in the return leg.’’
Meanwhile, late musician Oliver Mutukudzi’s daughter, Samantha is claiming a Maltese dog called Alvin Jazz in a messy, elongated divorce wrangle with Nengomasha.
Samantha in December 2019 filed for the couple’s divorce which is yet to be finalised.
In a latest development, Samantha is now claiming R6 000 as maintenance for the two minor children born out of the marriage, 100 percent school fees and 100 percent medical aid.
According to the fresh summons, the couple has been living separately for a period now exceeding two years.
Nengomasha married Samantha on December 24th, 2011, in terms of the Marriage Act Chapter 5:11 and the marriage still subsists.
“The marriage relationship between the parties has broken down irretrievably to such an extent that the parties can no longer live together as husband and wife more particularly in that Samantha and Nengomasha have lost love and affection for each other.
“The parties have been living separately and have not shared the matrimonial bed for a continuous period exceeding 24 months.
“There are no reasonable prospects for the restoration of a normal relationship between the parties.
“It is just and proper that Samantha be awarded the maltese dog named Alvin Jazz acquired during the subsistence of their marriage,” reads the summons.
The claim added; “That, Nengomasha pays 100 percent of school fees, top up levies, core curriculum activities, school trips, school uniforms and casual clothing for the minor children until they become self-sufficient or until they reach university, which occurs first.
“That, by the way of monetary contribution, Nengomasha pays R6 000 or the equivalent thereof at the interbank rate per month for the children until they attain majority.
“That, Nengomasha pays 100 percent towards the children’s medical aid per month,” wrote Samantha in her claim.
She is also claiming that after the divorce is finalised, she be granted custody of the minor children with reasonable rights being preferred to Nengomasha.
“Upon this honourable court being convinced and granting a decree of divorce it is in the best interest of the minor children that custody be granted to Samantha with Nengomasha being granted reasonable rights of access.
“That, he shall have the children every alternate weekend during the term but in any event by prior notice to Samantha.
“That, he shall have the children for two weeks and two alternate weekends in each school holiday until the children turn 18 or become tacitly emancipated,” she said.
Samantha is also claiming property the two acquired including houses in Hillside and Johannesburg, two motor vehicles, saloon equipment and household property.