The inquest into the Warriors Afcon debacle in which the team was booted out in the preliminary round by supposed no-hopers Tanzania reached its climax with a Football Indaba in Harare where match fixing allegations resurfaced.
Warriors coach Ian Gorowa snubbed the meeting and has since returned to his base in South Africa. Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and MP Themba Mliswa were riled by his absence.
Former referee Wilfred Mukuna alleged that players might have been paid to influence the result of the match which saw the team lose 1-0 away before the home 2-all draw which was not enough for the team to progress.
“We did our investigations after the Tanzania loss and noted something was amiss in the last national team games,” said Mukuna. “We give players US$200 each and they are offered US$2 000 somewhere. We see this problem in the Premier league, Division One and even among the referees and if this is not stopped we will not go anywhere.”
In the no-holds-barred meeting Dube for the first time responded to calls for him to step down, saying he had done enough to prepare the team for the Tanzania challenge, adding that he cannot shoulder blame for the defeat.
“Dube must go is the cry, he said. “But was I responsible for the selection? I gave the Warriors everything that was needed for the Tanzania matches including funding them out of pocket.”
Mliswa however said football was being held to ransom by individuals who fund the team from their own resources adding that government should assume that responsibility.
Mliswa defended Zifa saying that government had not done enough for the mother body to prosper.
“We want to achieve so much yet we fail to do the basics right. You bombard Zifa for losing but what structures are there for the team to win?”
Minister of Sports Andrew Langa who has also been blamed for the team’s poor show was seething, aiming his attacks at Zifa and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
He said the SRC risked being dissolved if they did not come up with a viable sports policy.
The SRC has been asked to come up with a strategic plan to revive sport between now and 2018.