AS sure as I am that Ignatius Pamire’s exit from Harare giants Dynamos was long overdue, I can bet my last cent — how I wish those coins still bought anything in this country — lonely winter nights are here again for many Zimbabwe
Thousands of miles away from Harare, swarms of fans draped in their respective national colours will chant, sing and whistle while others honk their car horns in a cacophony of noise that will surely reverberate across Africa to mark the Euro 2004 kick-off in Portugal tomorrow.
But back home, those wives who would have enjoyed dinner with their loved ones by their side will have to go it alone this time round as most men will be following the action in Portugal on television.
It’s good news for outlets with satellites: many husbands or boyfriends would be out at sports bars, hotels or pubs.
Very few will be able to watch the European soccer extravaganza in the comfort of their couches at home. Someone — you all know who — has seen it fit that we don’t watch the tournament on our national television lest the patriotic people of Zimbabwe be “brainwashed” by the West.
Supersport channel will beam all the matches live, but not everybody in this country has DStv.
Soccer lovers will have to throng pubs and sports bars around the country to catch a glimpse of the likes of David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Dado Prso, Pavel Nedved, Stilian Petrov, Henrik Larsson and Raul, to name but a few of the “galacticos” at the tournament.
I know for sure Cleto and Gibber will have to endure the heat in the normally crammed Mid-Air Sports Bar in Zengeza to watch Luis Figo in action for Portugal. Oliver Shambira will have to strain his neck at DZ Sports Bar in Dzivarasekwa, while Francis Manema will be an everyday feature at The Base in the city centre.
But all that Euro 2004 euphoria will hardly mask the woes that have become synonymous with local soccer.
The departure of interim Dynamos chairman Pamire is good riddance but leaves the side in no better state.
There’s no prize for guessing how the scale will tip should Pamire weigh up his input against his achievements at the club.
With all due respect, will Pamire one day — maybe in his geriatric years sitting around a fire with his folks at his rural home — proudly retell the mess that he has made of Dynamos?
The club is broke right, left and centre. The situation is no better on the field, where the once feared Dynamos have been reduced to mere also-rans in the premier league.
Come to think of it, gate-takings — the sole livelihood of the club — have to be channelled directly to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to offset overdue taxes.
It’s also at the same club where players had to ambush ticket cashiers at one of their home matches to cover up for their unpaid wages and bonuses.
Just look at the confusion surrounding the appointment of coaches at the club.
Who doesn’t know the executive’s scandalous handling of the gates at Dynamos’ home fixtures?
Leftback Francis Madziva — bless his soul — languishes in hospital with Dynamos failing to pay medical fees required for an operation on his two legs broken in a tragic accident while the club were coming from a friendly in Bulawayo.
Thank God the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has come to the rescue of the promising defender.
The calabash of the rest of the ills at Dynamos is better left with its lid on, lest I nauseate you with the trash that has occupied acres of space over the last six years.
With Pamire gone, I don’t see the reason why the other three musketeers should hang on. Go please, go — Philip Mugadza, Simon Sachiti and Victor Nyaumwe. The quicker the better!
Meanwhile, I hope the PSL polls, aborted several times, finally happen tomorrow.
With an elected leadership, maybe local soccer will be run with a semblance of professionalism.
It’s also everyone’s wish to see sponsors literally falling over each other to be associated with the national soccer league again.
I don’t care whoever wins the PSL chairmanship — be it Leslie Gwindi, Justin Mujaji or Tendai Madzorera — because many candidates I have backed in administrative polls before have been complete disappointments if not failures.
Last but not least, we all wait with bated breath to see how the Zimbabwe Football Association will play its cards on the Warriors’ coaching department issue.
Whether or not Rahman Gumbo and Brenna Msiska — hope to get their view should I bump into them in some of the watering halls I hear they frequent — are good enough to go it alone at the helm of the Warriors, I don’t know.
I’m also not sure whether South African Jomo Sono, should he take up the offer to coach Zimbabwe, will have an answer to Sunday Marimo’s technical shortcomings. However, I will tell you my fears about the burly Sono later.
Hopefully, the Warriors’ bright start to the 2006 World Cup and African Cup of Nations is no fluke. — email@example.com