ZIFA president Felton Kamambo believes it is too early to judge coach Norman Mapeza based on the back-to-back 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the Black Stars of Ghana whose results rendered the country out of contention for a ticket to the quadrennial global showpiece.
In a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the official launch of the Mutasa Central constituency sports festival today, Kamambo said Mapeza deserves more time.
Kamanbo’s sentiments come hard on the heels of of Zimbabwe’s ouster from the race for qualification to Qatar.
Kamambo, who was part of the national association’s leaders present in Mutasa , said it is too early to judge the former Warriors midfielder on the basis of the two matches he has been in charge of.
Kamambo said there is an undeniable need to have local-based players blended with their foreign-based counterparts to assemble a formidable national team.
“We have just appointed Mapeza and his contract runs until mid of November. The technical team will then assess the performance of the coach. We cannot judge him based on the two games he has been in office. There are other factors that came into play like the unavailability of local-based players who were inactive. We cannot say if one is playing in England he is the best at our disposal. They just had the chance to go there. Like I said you cannot have a national team with foreign-based players only. We are hoping that when we go to the Africa Cup of Nations we will have all our players at our disposal.
“We want to ensure that we compete favourably at international level. You are aware that our local leagues have not been active and this process we are having here in Mutasa is part of a broader initiative to cover up for lost time and ensure we have local based talent being part of the national team. This is part of a programme of grooming rural talent for the benefit of our national team,” he said.