THE Warriors were in Zambia last week where they put up a splendid performance against the African champions, Chipolopolo, by narrowly losing the match 2-1.
The crop of new players that Rahman Gumbo has identified played well with man of the match, Highlanders shot stopper Ariel Sibanda making a lasting impression on his debut.
Unfortunately, the referee Janny Sikanzwe awarded the home team a dubious penalty in the 80th minute after adjudging that Brian Mapfumo had infringed a Zambian player in the penalty box. Maybe he did so to keep Zambia’s respect as Africa champions.
I had hoped that by the time the Warriors return home, the ethics committee investigating the Asiagate scandal will clear more players to give Gumbo a wide range of choice ahead of a tough encounter against giants Angola.
Gumbo has to guide the Warriors in a home and away fixture against Angola to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in South Africa next year.
The first deadline for the Asiagate investigations was set for end of March, but due to logistical problems that included travelling arrangements for players and officials that were supposed to be investigated, the deadline was later pushed to end of April.
The ethics committee gave football loving fans and other stakeholders some hope when they cleared 30 players after their first phase of investigation.
This allowed Gumbo to call up some of the cleared players that included Ovidy Karuru, Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande in the Warriors fold.
But what is surprising now is that the investigations are set to open a new Pandora box, which will see the ethics committee dragging the completion of the investigations in time.
We had hoped that by the time the Warriors play Angola, a number of other influential players would have been cleared to ensure the team qualifies for the bi-annual continental tournament.
But as it is, new names are set to come into the pictures and more interviews are set to be conducted, which means more time is needed for the investigations to be done properly.
Could this be the end of the Asiagate scandal or it’s the beginning of yet another phase as new names are set to take center stage. To make matters worse, the names that are coming in are going to limit Gumbo’s range of choices. I am reliably informed that among the eight that have been implicated, most of them are players that have been keeping the Warriors ship afloat.
Can’t the nation bury the hatchet for the love of the game and help the Warriors go beyond Angola? I hope the new investigations will be completed soon before we play Angola.
GO Warriors Go, Score Warriors Score!!
For feedback and comments email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0775 341 029.