ZIFA Announce Warriors Squad - Why It Doesn't Matter Who Is Called Up or Not

 By Tawanda Chari 


ZIFA announced the Warriors squad for the final 2 games of the World Cup Qualifiers. The Warriors are already out of the competition and these are just dead rubber games for them. As usual, some sections of the football fraternity are not happy with some of the names that are missing from the squad.

Norman Mapeza warriors latest national squad zim news zimsphere

The question becomes, does it really matter who is or isn't called up?

If the team fails, that has to do with the coaching or the execution of instructions or roles rather than who was not called up.

People really need to snap out of the mindset that National Team call-ups are an acknowledgement of good club form than a group selected to win football matches. This concept gets forgotten way too often. International football is not about "rewarding" players who are playing well.

Form in football is a good thing. However, it means nothing if it is not contextualized properly. Over a 30+  game season with more intensity then players have to be rewarded on form.

But international football prioritizes balance and execution over quality and form. The longest run of games during any international competition is 7 games. 7 games of mostly slow and low intensity football where winning takes precedence over playing well.

Zimbabwe is not a football club. It is its own entity trying to win its own games and therefore should pick players based on the roles that they need filled to win those games. If Mapeza requests certain types of players to perform certain roles then he should get those players. It doesn't matter what anyone says or if the team fails. At least we would know he failed on his terms and we move on.

Remember, Ovidy Karuru pulled out of the National Team when journalists and certain prominent figures questioned why ZIFA called him up. It shouldn't have mattered that he didn't have a club. If he could execute his role, something that's seen in camp, then it shouldn't matter.

Zifa latest squad african world cup qualifiers afcon
The recently announced squad by ZIFA

Evidently, the team struggled. They tried playing in a way that needed Karuru to be available. We really missed him and ZIFA let people who do not understand the nuance of tactical roles influence their decision making. But in the final analysis, context should always take precedence in these matters.

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