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Cosafa should just spare us the 'beatings'

Zambia has always had few or no European football exports and on the seven occassions they have won the Cosafa Cup competition, they have always used the same squad for their Afcon and World Cup matches.

ZIMBABWE'S Warriors make the trip -once again-to South Africa but this time for the Cosafa Cup which we hope will give us a break from the 'beatings' we are fast getting used to.

We are already feeling the effects of the 2-0 loss to Lesotho and the 3-1 defeat to South Africa in World Cup qualifiers but failure in the less challenging and less important Cosafa Cup could be the more bitter.

What we are, however, surprised with is that the Zifa normalisation committee has not given coach Jairos Tapera the greenlight to call upon the likes of Tawanda Masvanhise, McCaulley Bonne , and Tivonge Rushesha for the Cosafa Cup for this would have been the ideal opportunity to fully assess their full potential for the future.

We still do not have an idea on how these players can perform in the Warriors jersey -- due to limited or no apperances in the matches just gone by -- and an appearance in the Cosafa Cup would have been the ideal opportunity to showcase their talent without pressure for immediate results.

In fact, Zimbabwe should have been using this sponsored and competitive Cosafa Cup to fine-tune its team for the upcoming 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the same way that the Comoros, Zambia, and Kenya are doing.

In fact, the Cosafa Cup has never been a developmental tournament as from the beginning countries had been using their best players available and at one time, Peter Ndlovu used to fly from England to captain Zimbabwe in this same competition.

Zambia has always had few or no European football exports and on the seven occassions they have won the Cosafa Cup competition, they have always used the same squad for their Afcon and World Cup matches.

So, the competition on offer is as competitive or maybe better than what was on offer in the Four Nations Tournament in Malawi and as such Zimbabwe should have taken advantage by also sending a number of its foreign based players in its team.

The idea would have been to try not only to win the biggest prize but to also give our players more time in the field together in preparation for the rigours and pressure ahead of Afcon and World Cup 2026.

After all, the foreign based players are on holiday and would have been readily available for national duty instead of sitting and glued to their television sets watching others play at the Euro Championships.

Sadly, though, despite its high tempo, the Cosafa Cup is not highly respected by Fifa and as such the outcome of its matches does not contribute points to Fifa's monthly evaluation of performances by national teams.

This means that even after the Cosafa Cup, Zimbabwe will still remain 129th in the world and 38th in Africa but could drop even further depending on national team matches played elsewhere.

That, though, should not be a concern for Tapera who knows that another fall this time around would effectively rule him out of consideration for a full-time Warriors job which he is rumoured to have applied.

Tapera, though, knows that a good show by his team could being extra reward in the form of a longer stay on the job probably until the end of the first round of the Afcon Qualifiers.

Tapera also knows that excuses of not enough preparation time will not be entertained because all the teams are going to the Cosafa Cup straight from their PSL fixtures in their countries.

More importantly, is the fact that bonuses and allowances are paid directly to the players and the coaches by Cosafa and there wont be an excuses over money.

That is where the locally based players find their happiness as the money on offer makes good financial pickings to supplements their meagre salaries back at home.

To their credit, the Warriors are guaranteed of full support as apart from their travelling supporters there are thousands of Warriors followers based in South Africa who will be backing them.

On that premise, whichever team Tapera is taking to South Africa, the appeal is : Please, spare us the beatings, we have had enough.

For your views, comments and suggestions mkariati@gmail.com or WhatsApp on 0773 266 779.

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