Bukhosi Mangena Sports Correspondent
SPORT and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has blasted the local sporting fraternity for their “spontaneous and disorganised” junior development system, which he blames for Zimbabwe’s poor performances on the international stage.
Hlongwane said all poor international performances must be blamed on national sporting associations’ negligence of grassroots talent development.
According to the Hansard, Hlongwane said this while responding to a question from Chirimhanzu-Zibagwe MP Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa in a parliamentary question and answer session on Tuesday.
Cde Mnangagwa wanted to know which was now the leading national sport as football was not performing well.
“It’s true that soccer isn’t performing well at the moment. We had a meeting with all our sporting associations to get information why we’re not performing well. We’re not performing well because of the arrangement that’s there. Our associations are not taking up talent from the grassroots because they’re not getting there,” said Hlongwane.
“Looking at soccer, the matches that take place at the grassroots are spontaneous and not organised. That’s what we’ve directed at Zifa; we’re saying their structures should go down to the grassroots up to the wards.”
He said they had given Zifa and all other national associations up to the end of June to work on organising structures.
On the Warriors’ poor show at the African Nations Championship in Rwanda where they returned home without a win, Hlongwane said his ministry was not to blame as they were not engaged.
“It’s very true that when we’re going for international games, there are a lot of preparations that should take place. The preparations are different. Some of them mean that we have to play against other countries or even clubs, depending on our technical team’s training techniques. As a ministry, we didn’t get any request from Zifa or their technical team through SRC that they wanted to engage other countries in friendlies before departing for Rwanda.”