If there is anything that shows that Zimbabwe is not serious about its football, it is news that national team coach, Kalisto Pasuwa has not been paid for the past five months. NEWSDAY WEEKENDER COMMENT
Zimbabwe goes into the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in just over two months and there is no poorer way of preparing for the tournament than not paying the coach.
Loudmouth businessman, Wicknell Chivayo pledged to pay Pasuwa for two years and he is obviously failing to honour his promise.
We are probably going to get brickbats from Chivayo because he somehow thinks that because of his sponsorship of the Warriors, he is beyond reproach and we should instead kneel down at his altar.
While Chivayo should be applauded for the good he has done, this does not mean we should ignore his excesses and his failures.
In addition to failing to pay Pasuwa, the businessman has created divisions in the Warriors squad by choosing what he calls “my players” whom he fetes with gifts, while ignoring the rest of the team.
This is not good for teamwork and creates toxicity in the national team set-up.
If Chivayo wants to reward players, then he should reward everyone, not just a select few.
This goes back to a point we made earlier, Zifa needs a corporate sponsor rather than a shadowy set up where an individual chooses to support the football association’s president, Philip Chiyangwa instead of the whole set-up.
Because of this, Chivayo wrongly believes that the nation and Zifa are beholden to him because of the largesse he has poured in.
Following this criticism, we expect Chivayo to act in his usual childish manner and threaten to cut his sponsorship, but Zifa cannot be held to the whims and caprices of an individual.
While, we cannot detract from what he has done, Chivayo’s behaviour is quite unpalatable and sometimes amateurish.
Yes, he has money and spends quite extravagantly too, but that is not a licence to run roughshod over people and the deliverables he has agreed to.
Zifa and the nation should not expect Pasuwa to deliver miracles at Afcon, when they are failing to pay him on time.
Chiyangwa has a duty now to ensure that Pasuwa is paid if the Warriors’ trip to Gabon is not doomed before they even get onto the plane.
There is no excuse for such dereliction of duty from Chiyangwa and it is simply unacceptable that a coach goes for so long without being paid.
Chiyangwa and Chivayo should hang their heads in shame and quickly address this situation.