As a country, we need something to lift us up. This tournament provides a perfect opportunity

 

By Terrence Mwedzi

All across the globe, soccer is massively popular. In fact, it is the most popular sport worldwide, and almost half the
population of the globe can be considered soccer fans. Life is incomplete without soccer.

l am feeling happy and comfortable that the 2021 edition of the Cosafa Cup football tournament will take place from 7th to the 18th of July in Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha), Eastern Cape. I live in this neighbourhood, and I will have a front page seat on the coverage of the football festivity.

The tournament will be different this time because of the deadly plague(Covid-19) that is wreaking havoc globally. Surely, Covid-19 has changed our way of doing things in the football fraternities.

 

The Cosafa fixtures are very tricky:

Because South Africa, Zambia and Senegal are at the head of the three pools.

Senegal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia make up Group C.

Group B will see Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, and the Comoros battle it out.

Hosts, South Africa, will clash with Lesotho, Eswatini, and Botswana for a place in the play-offs.

 

 

In contrast, it is very tricky because our team had been drawn in the same group with West African football giants Senegal. Senegal are a strong team – that’s a fact.

I am not sure if we are going to beat them next month – but on the other hand, our team should take the COSAFA tournament seriously. And l urge our current Warriors coach Logarusic to use a chance to make the strong team selection because it seems there are no meaningful plans of preparations of friendly games yet.

The World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations are big events that are ahead of us and now is the time to set up our strong team to avoid unnecessary setbacks

Hopefully, Loga will field foreign-based players next month, as soccer pundits, we need to check their performance in the field of play. But we also need to test the performance of our local-based players. The team should be balanced because we have a quite number of good players: that’s what l think.

But my latest worry is about our local players’ fitness. When the COSAFA tournament begins the fitness issues will come into play.

And we are likely to witness more injuries because of the suspension of the Chibuku Super Cup tournament.

 

 

At the moment, we should not always make Loga’s job hard.

Our main problem is that we don’t want to prioritise soccer in Zimbabwe. I have said so because the situation on the ground speaks of itself.

The suspension of football in Zimbabwe will cost us in the long run. It is my sincere hope that something worthwhile will be done anytime soon. We need to make permanent decisions.

Let us allow football matches to continue.

Surely there is no scientific reason the Chibuku Super Cup should be banned when the health and safety protocols are followed. All the games were played in the empty stadiums and, the main reason is still hidden.

The Ministry of Health should look into this serious matter with both eyes. We should not look at such matters through a keyhole. Let us open our eyes and lets open the door before we kill our own football. We have talented players in Zimbabwe.

It is the mere truth that many countries with a big number of Covid 19 cases allowed football to resume sometime yesteryear. But in Zimbabwe, we still stuck.

We can’t compare Zimbabwe with other countries because ‘Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe’ but sometimes we should check if we are moving forward or backward in terms of football.

We don’t need unnecessary drama because we are currently witnessing many loopholes in football spheres.

I think we should learn to live with this deadly virus – Covid-19. From the look of things it is likely to stay with us for ages.

Believe me or not Covid-19 is not going anywhere. We need to understand that.

Yes we are facing a plethora of problems in Zimbabwe especially in the football fraternity, but if not careful we will add more fresh problems on board.

 

The Chibuku Super Cup matches should continue to be played in empty stadiums for now. Not to put everything on hold. That’s not a wise decision.

And as soccer-loving fans will follow the action on ZBC TV, ZTN, NationTV, radios….etc.

I am still confused why the Sports and Recreation Commission considered football which was played in the empty stadium as a ‘high risk’ activity.

“Pursuant to the recently Gazetted Statutory Instrument 170 of 2021, the following sport codes, classified as ‘low risk’ are hereby authorized to resume their activities in accordance with their previously approved Covid-19 protocols encompassing national World Health Organisation guidelines:

“Archery, angling, cricket, equestrian, polo, shooting, woodball, table tennis, aquatics, bass, cycling, rowing, polocrosse, tennis, triathlon, horse racing, badminton, athletics, chess, draughts, golf, motorsport and lawn bowls.

“SRC is advising the relevant National Sports Associations of this development by separate and direct email requiring that they acknowledge and accept the said correspondence and the health protocols and other conditions reiterated therein prior to any such resumption.

“If the above activities are carried out at a sports club or other similar facility, bars and changing rooms are to remain closed and any available restaurants authorised to operate are to only accept takeaway orders,” said the Commission in a statement.

 

 

Let’s allow our coach Loga to do his job properly and without unnecessary pressure, and at the end of the day will not blame him for any reason. This is football.

At this stage, we should subtract our problems, not add them. This will cause football fans and local players to lose the strong confidence they have.

Anyway, l would like to thank the Eastern Cape government for providing full and noble support to the 2021 COSAFA Cup that has allowed the competition to go ahead nicely. Their genuine commitment should not go unnoticed.

I wish my national team – the Warriors – very well in the COSAFA tournament. We should lift the cup. We need something to lift us as a nation.

Let us all pull in one direction. We will sail through.

GO WARRIORS GO!!!

 

 

Terrence Mwedzi is a writer, poet and football pundit. He writes to the Digital Sunday Express in personal capacity and can be contacted on;+27611370088. Email: moontafadzwa@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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