We have to believe in ourselves and we will conquer it all. There are no perennial winners and losers in soccer – so let the games begin

By Terrence Mwedzi

 

It is refreshing and encouraging to note that the AFCON tournament will start on Sunday, and Cameroon is the host country. The tournament takes place in January due to weather patterns there. Personally,l can’t wait for this latest showpiece.

The first match will be between Cameroon and Burkina Faso on Sunday, reigning champions Algeria will be eager to defend their crown in the next continental exhibition piece.

But I firmly believe that new champions will emerge this time, because in the game of soccer, everyone is a threat. There is nothing called a loser in soccer, even small teams are a threat these days. In the world of football, things have changed.

I’m glad that my team (Zimbabwe Warriors) is going to participate in Cameroon, which is very good for us.

As I write this crucial piece, hopes are high that the Warriors will make a huge difference and make history this time.In the same vein, our boys need all form of motivation.

Yes, we can do it. Ours is not a weak team.

 

 

It is proved that despite all the setbacks, the Warriors remain one of the best teams in the Southern Africa region and this will be Zimbabwe’s fifth appearance in the tournament after the 2004,2006,2017 and 2019 editions.

Our boys are in the same group with Senegal, Guniea, and Malawi. To be honest, Goup B is not a group of death, we must beat Senegal to avoid pressure and silence everyone who makes senseless noise.

Yes, we should not waste chances. A good application of tactics and quick reading of the game can play a big role in the field of play.

Senegal: the team that is being classified as one of the strongest teams in Africa.But the Warriors can still compete. Guniea and Malawi remain average teams despite their AFCON appearances in the past years.

It is also ridiculous that Senegal topped the African rankings in three years, have no trophies or medals to show off. This is soccer. I know Senegal has key players like Edouard Mendy, ldrissa Gueye, Ismaila Sarr, Sadino Mane but we can still complete.

We have to believe in ourselves and we will conquer it all. There are no perennial winners and losers in soccer- so let the games begin.

 

 

On the contrary, players like Alec Mudimu, Onismor Bhasera and Teenage Hadebe can add confidence and flavor to the team. The team is a bit balanced with experienced players young and old. We have to qualify for the knockout stages, that’s how the story is done.

On the other hand, we have missed European midfielders Marvelous Nakamba and Marshall Munetsi due to injuries, which is very sad.

I would like to congratulate the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) for paying players’ allowances on time. Our players must also be financially motivated, money can inspire them to move mountains. National pride must be restored.

Furthermore, the SRC fired the officials in November, citing mismanagement, lack of financial responsibility and sexual harassment of the referees.

The move is likely to counter the FIFA ban. We don’t want cartels in our football. We need everything to be more viable and the proper channels must be followed all the time. For now, let’s focus on the pending games. Some misguided elements were praying for the Warriors to be kicked out of the AFCON tournament.

That didn’t happen. Let us not wish anything bad for our country. We do not want FIFA to disrupt the AFCON tournament. We don’t want to be expelled. It is our time to comply.

 

 

In addition, the African Football Confederation (CAF) informed all teams participating in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that the video assistant referee (VAR) will be used throughout the tournament, which simply means that all 52 AFCON matches will have the VAR to avoid unnecessary mishaps, noise and confusion.

And CAF has also increased the prize monies for the Africa Cup of Nations-which is good. This is a positive development.

In other news, it is also reported that some European football clubs were refusing to release players for the Continental showpiece (AFCON).

And some African players were forced to fake injuries. Covid-19 has also been used as an excuse by some European clubs not to release players for the Afcon tournament. It is wrong.

Sure. It is an act of sabotage. Afcon is an important tournament that needs to be respected and a lot of football-loving fans will agree with me.

 

* Here are the AFCON 2021 Groups *

Group A:
Cameroon (host), Burkina Faso,
Cape Verde Islands, Ethiopia

Group B: Guinea, Malawi, Senegal,
Zimbabwe

Group C:
Comoros Island, Gabon, Ghana,
Morocco

Group D: Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria,
Sudan

Group E: Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory
Coast, Sierra Leone

Group F: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia

As a nation, we should strongly stand behind the boys.

Go Warriors Go!!!!

 

Terrence Mwedzi is a writer, poet, and soccer expert. He writes to the Digital Sunday Express in his own capacity and can be reached at: +27611370088 Email: moontafadzwa@gmail.com

 

 

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