Bruce Chikuni

 THE Mighty Warriors will NOT take part in the COSAFA Women’s Championships after a major BOOB by those now in charge of domestic football.

The tournament will be held next month in South Africa.

Herentals Queens have also been deprived of their chance to make their maiden appearance at the COSAFA Women’s Champions League Zonal qualifiers scheduled for this month.

The FIFA normalisation committee is being blamed for the mistakes which resulted in the senior women’s national team failing to be entered among the countries to take part in the regional championships.

It has emerged that some members of the normalisation committee have been trying to usurp the responsibilities, which are usually for the secretariat.

And, this resulted in the chaos, which saw the Mighty Warriors missing a return to the COSAFA Cup this year.

A huge BOOB this week saw ZIFA issue a statement, inviting coaches to apply for national team posts, in which the football controlling body mistakenly claimed it was also in charge of the game in Zambia.

There are reports that the normalisation committee has now chosen to work from an office at a building in the Harare CBD instead of the ZIFA headquarters at 53 Livingstone Avenue.

However, normalisation committee chairman, Lincoln Mutasa, said they missed out on the deadlines for these competitions when the country was battling for the international ban to be lifted.

Strangely, the Warriors, who were also facing the same plight, are eligible to participate in the CHAN 2024 qualifiers, which are getting underway next month.

The Warriors are also set to play in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

“The problem was that we failed to make these deadlines because we were not eligible to play international football.

“We were readmitted on July 11th while these deadlines were on June 30 and it was impossible for us to convince COSAFA.

“Even when we tried, COSAFA wrote to us that it was too late for our Mighty Warriors and Herentals Queens to participate,” said Mutasa.

However, sources said this could have been avoided if the normalisation committee had used the experience of members of the ZIFA secretariat.

“There are procedures, which have to be followed and the reality is that we didn’t tick all the boxes, which were supposed to be ticked, for our women teams to return to international football,” said the source.

“COSAFA fought in our corner for us to return to international football, they were the organisation whose leader even hosted Gift Banda, even when CAF and FIFA were saying his leadership was not recognised.

“COSAFA wants all its members to participate and Zimbabwe is a giant in the region and the door can’t be closed for us just like that.

“The procedures in football have to be followed and we didn’t do so and that is the bottom line.”

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