Zifa board member aspirant Edzai Kasinauyo says Zimbabwean football has the potential for success, but requires leadership that has the experience and expertise as well as the integrity to unlock opportunities.
BY HENRY MHARA
The former Warriors midfielder, who is now a thriving businessman, has targeted Warriors’ participation at the 2022 World Cup as his major objective if he is elected into office.
He will immediately channel efforts to make sure the Mighty Warriors receive enough support ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics if he gets elected on December 5.
The 40-year-old has identified key areas which he thinks need to be addressed to transform football in the country.
“First and foremost, we need to improve on corporate governance. What sort of image does the association have out there? We need to see how best we can change it,” Kasinauyo said in an interview yesterday.
“We need to bring back the confidence of the sponsors especially and all the other stakeholders. Our game has been battered so we will have to sit down and analyse areas where we came short and address those. We need to look at our policies and the constitution and see where we need to improve and make football the winner at the end of the day.”
He said Zimbabwe can use its non-participation in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and start preparing for the 2022 tournament.
“We will not be involved in the next World Cup so we have to start preparing for the 2022 World Cup. Our planning and the vision should be towards that, and it gives us seven years from now and from a football point of view, that time is enough to be able to achieve that.”
He believes Zimbabwe has got the talent that only needs to be identified and nurtured towards achieving qualification to the Qatar finals.
“There are no shortcuts in football, we just have to stick to basics and development is the cornerstone,” said the former Caps United midfielder who had stints with numerous South African clubs in a career that stretched for 13 years.
He observed that women football needs more recognition especially after they achieved what their male counterparts have failed.
“Women football has done a good job for qualifying. We have to applaud them for pulling through under the most difficult of circumstances and that alone can show how much the country can do and the potential we have as Zimbabweans to excel even under the toughest conditions. We have to support them in all areas so that they can realise their dream at the Olympics. With the right support, they can win the Games, anything is possible. This should be the first priority of the new board when it comes to office, to look at how the girls can be supported, how resources can be mobilised.”
Kasinauyo joined South Africa’s Cape Town Spurs in 1999 and went on to play for Ajax Cape Town, Hellenic, FC AK and Moroka Swallows. He was in the Warriors squad at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations and currently runs thriving sports shops in Harare. He is also the Adidas agent in the country and has facilitated deals for Dynamos and Highlanders with the giant sportswear company.
Kasinauyo is also the Volkswagen football ambassador to Zimbabwe and has previously facilitated camps and scholarships for junior players in Europe under the programme.
He believes he can use the experience in business and the contacts he made while playing in the country and abroad, to unlock sponsorship for the association if he is given the mandate.
“Football is the biggest business in the world, but we can only be part of that if we can get to understand the business side of football. I have made friends and contacts that I think can help transform our football. We need to have relations with foreign teams where we will be able to send our kids, players, coaches and administrators for programmes. We need to be able to invite top teams to come and play here and I can make that happen. That would be huge for our players and even for our tourism and that is what we want as a nation at the moment. We have to associate ourselves with the top teams, the big brands and that is one of the ways we can correct our image going forward.”
He believes the game can only thrive if there is unity of purpose among the administrators.
“There is the issue of unity in football. We can have differences, yes, but at the same time we need to always find one another and be able to work together. I can have a different opinion with the one person, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we become enemies. It’s high time people came together, no matter their background or race,” Kasinauyo said.
He is one of 10 candidates that are contesting for four positions in the board.