WHEN news of Khama Billiat’s resignation began to filter through, many thought it was impossible! Then the official statement came out!
Zimbabweans were numbed by the news!
Could someone please talk to him and ask him to reconsider? All these were sentiments and thoughts that flowed through social media.
Fact is: Khama is gone from Zimbabwean football!
Now panic has set in, many are wondering if more of Billiat’s teammates in the national team would follow suit.
And maybe all of us too!
After the two Ghana losses, rumours began to float around of players considering retirement to protest against Zifa’s continued failings administratively. Those in the know said top players like Marshal Munetsi, Tendai Darikwa et al were seeking advice on whether to stay or keep at it.
“After the boys got back to their bases in Europe, some of them called me and asked me what I thought about retiring from the national team. They said they didn’t feel like playing for the Warriors anymore and all of them for the same reasons – Zifa,” said one source close to the country’s football mother body.
In 2012, Knowledge Musona was compelled to “retire” from international football after Zifa accused him of match-fixing.
The then Germany-based Musona said he was no longer going to be available for national duty after the Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze suggested he was involved in match-fixing related to the Warriors’ 2014 World Cup qualifying matches against Guinea and Mozambique.
Mashingaidze said he had spotted Musona together with Ovidy Karuru, Thomas Sweswe and Jimmy Jambo at the business premises of Henrietta Rushwaya – the alleged mastermind of the Asiagate match-fixing scandal. In a heavily worded letter to Mashingaidze, Musona expressed his concern at being implicated in damaging match fixing allegations.
In the letter, Musona – through his lawyer Misheck Hogwe – set conditions for his return to the national team, which included an unreserved apology from Zifa hence his bouncing back.
But is Zifa the only reason why Zimbabwe’s best players want out? Some say coach Norman Mapeza’s over the top disciplinary measures were the other reason.
“Others wanted out after Norman’s first game in charge because of what they said to me was disrespectful disciplinary action. Many are not impressed with Mapeza because they feel that in his effort to be a disciplinarian, he treats them like children and this they felt was disrespectful,” the source added.
Sources told B Metro Sport that Knox Mutizwa recently had US$100 docked from his allowances for possessing his smartphone when the Warriors were having a meal in South Africa.
So that said, the senior national team is now no longer just in turmoil technically – there may not be a national team of note by the time the team is due for the Africa Cup of Nations camp.