Despite succumbing all their three group matches at the Olympic Games in Brazil in their maiden appearance at the global sports showcase, the Shadreck Mlauzi coached team blazed a trail by becoming the first Zimbabwe national football side to qualify for the Olympic games, however their best was not good enough to tally the performance of their opponents and their inexperience was eventually exposed, losing all their group games against Germany, Canada and Australia.
VA GADENI – EDITOR
The Zimbabwe National Women Soccer team lost with identical 1-2 margins to Germany and Australia, but minimized the damge to 1-3 against Canada.
The results where enough for the Mighty Warriors to switch focus from football matters to studying flight schedules as their debut appearance had hit a brick wall.
It was a worthy experience which, with no doubt, needed to be treated with respect while giving credit where it’s due.
Around midday, the country’s representatives in the on going Rio 2016 Olympics touched down at the Harare International Airport and received a befitting welcome from the football fraternity among them the ZIFA president, Dr Philip Chiyangwa, and representatives from the Sports and Recreation Committee, as well as the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.
Congratulatory messages were poured in applause of a history well made by the girls.
“They performed extremely well. They played against the best teams in the world. They are the pride of Zimbabwe,” said Chiyangwa.
“They are also the pride of Africa. It was a mammoth task playing against those three teams. I am happy that they did well,” he added.
But the touchdown marked the beginning of the usual norm.
By means of a hired school bus, the Mighty Warriors were ferried from the main Airport to the Central Business District. Upon arrival, they were given $1 each for those staying in Harare to find their way home.
Those residing in Bulawayo were given their share of $5 each on the notation that they would board the even train which departs Harare at 2000hrs en-route to Bulawayo.
This was simply an act of gross negligence and an exposure of incompetence to any board or institution involved with the Mighty Warriors, to say the least.
In a bid to save his face, ZIFA president Dr Philip Chiyangwa issued a statement distancing himself and his cash strapped institution from the embarrassing scene.
THE story doing the rounds of us (ZIFA) having failed to pay the players and the issue of the $5 given to them in some street corner, is false, mischievous, very malicious and obviously, defamatory.
Obviously, you can see there were some unwanted guests who appeared at the airport (Harare International Airport).
“The ZOC (Zimbabwe Olympic Committee) is responsible for these players (Mighty Warriors when they are on Olympic Games duty) until they are back home.
It has nothing to do with ZIFA.
So, I want to put it on record that the question of my benevolence should not be abused whenever there is an opportunity for people to associate me with their ills.
There was no ZIFA person involved today, it was ZOC and when the players disbursed, it was after they had finished their business with ZOC and whatever you are hearing (about the Mighty Warriors getting $5 each on their return) has nothing to do with ZIFA, or me, or my administration.
We have money (for the Mighty Warriors), which will be distributed next week, together with their stands.
That money could have been given to the team, (yesterday) but the players had gone.
It had nothing to do with the money they were given by ZOC and please take it on record that ZIFA is not to be associated with what is being peddled by mischievous and malicious people,” read the statement by Chiyangwa.
The editor exits the scene…!!!