Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Warriors Team Manager Breaks Silence On The Issue Of Delayed Passports!

Zimbabwe Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare has finally broke his silence on the issue of delayed passports that saw some of his foreign based players missing out of the current Cosafa Cup competition, blaming the Sports Commission for politicising the matter.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa had intially included players who were born in Europe to Zimbabwean parents to represent the country at this year's Cosafa Cup tournament before selecting a strong squad for AFCON Qualifiers in September, but his efforts were frustrated by the delayed issuance of passports by the home affairs office.

Warriors manager, Mpandare beleives the supreme sports body, the SRC misled Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation, Kazembe Kazembe, into believing that the Warriors had made a last-minute application for passports of their European born players.

“We first engaged the former Minister of Sport Makhosini Hlongwane last year and he wrote advising ZIFA that he would either personally assist or task his permanent secretary to take the players to the Registrar General’s office," said Mpandare speaking to The Herald.

“Then there were changes and the new Minister came and I engaged Minister Kazembe first in February and later in March but he became too busy with pressing government commitments.

“I wanted to appraise him of the fact that a process to get the Ministry’s assistance had already started with his officers and those at the SRC,’’ Mpandare said.

He said that on Independence Day, during the occasion of the Warriors match against Botswana, Kazembe directed Sports Commission board chairman Edward Siwela to assist in resolving the matter.

It is at that stage that the Warriors team manager believes the wheels came off the process with Siwela allegedly re-directing them to acting Sports Commission director general, Joseph Muchechetere, “who was no there to help us’’.

“I tried to make a follow-up with Muchechetere but he was said to be in Botswana and I know that the ZIFA CEO Mamutse also wrote to the Sports Commission.

“We did everything on time and it is not like we just woke up asking for help with the passports.

“Some of the players like Kelly Lunga even have long Zimbabwean birth certificates which should have helped ease the process.

“A lot of people also make so much noise about Sports Tourism yet I believe our players who are playing in various leagues outside the country are our best ambassadors.

“I don’t think someone like Julio Baptista will market Zimbabwe more than Tristan Nydam or Reiss who is playing for Arsenal.’

“The SRC should understand that I am not doing this for myself, for Chiyangwa or ZIFA but the country so whatever differences they have with ZIFA or Chiyangwa should not compromise the nation.

“The passport issue should never be politicised at all because this is all about sport.’’


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