WITH all due respect, despite Zimbabwe’s average global soccer rankings, one would have hoped that anyone accepting to lead the country’s national soccer teams for any of international campaign would do so with such eagerness that they would never write-off the team they are leading ahead of the matches against even the most fancied teams.

NewsDay Comment

So it has come as a shock to many soccer loving people that our newly appointed national men’s soccer team coach Zdravko Lugarusic has already dismissed Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup before the Warriors have even kicked the ball for the campaign. Indeed the country has for decades desperately attempted — with great hope and zeal, to dance with the best at the World Cup, but honestly we cannot have people with a defeatist attitude to lead our boys into battle.

These days a star-studded team can be defeated by minnows, which worries us when a coach worth his salt tells the nation he has accepted to lead that their World Cup campaign is a waste of time. If indeed this Lugarusic coach said: “We have to fight for position number two because Ghana is definitely likely to finish first,” then Zifa should seriously reconsider this guy’s commitment.

Granted that Zimbabwe is ranked 110 globally against Ghana’s 35th position and is 26th against Ghana’s 2nd position on the African continent, but we cannot be written off by our very own coach, who we hoped would at least psyche up in our players and nation a never die spirit. Did Lugarusic think he was doing us a favour by telling us that we have no chance with Ghana? Why should we even be bothered to participate in the World Cup campaign if our very coach has no faith in our team?

This must be the first time that a coach has dismissed the chances of his own team progressing in a campaign well before the games have even began. We are afraid to say, much as we would have liked to rally behind Zifa’s new choice of a coach, his attitude and low regard for our players, many of whom are doing splendidly well internationally, makes us think twice about his ability to take the Warriors to a higher level.