The Herald, November 17, 1980

ZIMBABWE is out of the World Cup soccer competition despite its 1-0 victory yesterday over the heavily fancied Cameroun, who advance to the next round by virtue of a 2-1 goal aggregate lead.

Zimbabwe lost 0-2 in the first leg played in Cameroun last month. Yesterday’s match was played in driving rain at Rufaro Stadium before a disappointing crowd estimated at about 20 000.

Before the match the Zambian referee declared the field inadequately marked. A hurried job by six municipal employees was done. Buckets of whitewash and brushes at hand, did the trick.

The Cameroun supporters entered the reserved enclosure only to find they had no place to sit. Most of them watched the match standing.

Each member of the Zimbabwe squad was given an undisclosed sum from the Zimbabwe Football Association just before the noon deadline.

The players had threatened to boycott the game unless they received $200 each for recent matches against Cameroun and Malawi

LESSONS FOR TODAY

 Football is the world’s most popular sport simply because it has the most fans (3,5 billion), and has active players in almost every country in the world including Zimbabwe.

 Football or soccer is big business in most countries with players earning millions every week and month due to payment by clubs and endorsements.

 Football is a sport that can bring a lot of success and recognition for any country. It can also unify a nation, but to achieve this there is need for proper planning and financing of the sport.

 Zimbabwe has over the years produced very brilliant soccer players, both men and women, but despite this it has not had major success on the international stage due to inadequate funding of the sport and administrative shortcomings.

 Zimbabwean football administrators need to put more effort in turning around the fortunes of the country when it comes to football so that the country can compete with the best teams in the world.

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