Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
STUNG by the Warriors’ poor performance at the CHAN finals, the Sports and Recreation Ministry have come up with a cocktail of measures, which include revamping the school football calendar, as part of efforts to develop talent in the country.
Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane yesterday met with the Sports Commission acting chairperson Edward Siwela, ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa and two of his board members Edzai Kasinauyo and Philemon Machana to review the country’s participation at the CHAN tournament.
The indaba did not touch on the technical aspect and Chiyangwa said the board will have that review with the technical team .
“We will have a meeting with them and hear from them their story and we will also tell our story.
“The media will be there and it will only be fair to have the coach by my side so that he answers some of the questions for himself because I was not in Rwanda,” said Chiyangwa.
Hlongwane said they raised two pertinent issues which they feel could help Zimbabwean football in the future.
“We were in a meeting with the SRC and ZIFA to discuss and interrogate our performance during the CHAN competition,” said Hlongwane.
“We are expecting a comprehensive report that is still in the process of being put together so that we can fully apply our minds to that but what is clear is that Zimbabwe did not do well at the CHAN finals in Rwanda and, therefore, we discussed a lot of issues, some at policy level, some at a strategic level in order to intervene and find a sustainable way forward to produce the best for our football in Zimbabwe.
“And we think that the issues we raised and discussed and, which we intend to implement together with SRC and ZIFA, are going to go a long way in terms of assisting the development of football in Zimbabwe and also in terms of helping Zimbabwe realise its football aspirations.
“One of the things that we spoke about is that of talent identification, talent development and talent tracking. That obviously speaks to our presence on the ground as far as football authorities in Zimbabwe are concerned.
“What is our reach? How much present are we, where talent is at the grassroots?
“That for us as Government is very important
“We are saying we need a very clear system of identifying talent.
“We need a very clear system of developing talent.
“We need a very clear system of tracking that talent and retaining it so that the talent is then converted to good use for the realisation of our national football objectives.
“The second aspect that we spoke about is that we want school football to be played throughout the year.
“That is very important so that football that is played in schools is not done on termly basis, just second term as has been the tradition.
“We want football to be played throughout the year.
“In respect of that particular aspect, I am going to engage my colleague in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Dokora, to work out the feasibility issues and logistics issues around how that could be implemented to make sure that the sports calendar for the school system does accommodate a scenario where throughout the year football is played.”
The Sports Commission also spoke about the CHAN show.
“The recent outing by our national team in Rwanda was an important one for the nation and as SRC we obviously followed the games with keen interest,” said Siwela.
“And, as the minister has already indicated, it is clear to us that there is need to strengthen talent identification systems, that we ensure that there is no leakage in talent that is identified.
“In this regard, we urge ZIFA to take advantage of some of the programmes that SRC is already offering.”
Chiyangwa said they were going to revive the ZIFA Cup so that it caters for the football development from grassroots to the Premiership.
“We are now seized with the issue of responding to what is in the offing.
“As long as there is talent being manufactured from the SRC belt, it creates business for ZIFA.
“We are reviving the ZIFA Cup and strengthening it to cover community clubs, schools and college football.
“We will be there at schools and colleges as well.
“We are also going to establish a School of Excellence at ZIFA Village, spread the game countrywide and feed from these provincial academies, bringing the best to the School of Excellence,” said Chiyangwa.