ESTEEMED followers of the game of football, thank you for finding time for interaction.
It appears the Mutare City Rovers executive is still struggling to execute even the most basic principles of football administration and last weekâ€™s deplorable events at Sakubva â€“ during which fans endured frustrating difficulties to pay for their entrance into the stadium to watch a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between the hosts and visiting Chicken Inn, while the media also got a raw deal â€“ were so awful and give a bad image to the local franchise.
It is bad and so sad, too, that at a time the Mutare faithful had come in their droves to root for the city and provinceâ€™s only Premiership representative, the Gusha Bhora management was found wanting and fell appallingly short in doing their job right.
In summation, here is how things went wrong, or rather, how the executive got things wrong at Sakubva on Sunday.
Only two entry points into the stadium were opened, one for cars and the other for pedestrians and in the end they were both overwhelmed by the sizeable crowd, while a mini vehicle traffic jam near the entrances was created following the clogged movement at the turnstiles.
It simply created a chaotic scene.
By the time the City Council-owned outfit levelled the scores, over half-an-hour into the match, there were still several people milling outside, desperately and impatiently trying to get into the stadium.
It only took the intervention of club treasurer, Victor Gwengwe to have a third gate opened, but it was a case of too little too late â€“ the damage had been done already. And it remains to be seen if it is repairable going into the future.
Even people like retired referee, Masimba Chihohwa, into whose knowledge and experience of the game Mutare City Rovers could tap, were frustrated and had to endure over half-an-hour wait outside the stadium in his car following inexcusable and inexplicable delays at the main gate.
Yours Truly recalls an agitated fan bellowing at part of the executive in the VIP enclosure at Sakubva late last year, airing his disgruntlement at why most gates were not open, even as many supporters had turned up in their numbers, but were delayed outside during a crucial tie â€“ the leagueâ€™s penultimate â€“ between the then promotion-chasing Mutare City Rovers and Hartley Academy as the two battled for the sole ticket to earn a place in the Premiership from the Zifa Eastern Region Division One.
It looks like the Gusha Bhora executive did not learn anything from that embarrassing episode.
Even local journalists on duty to cover the match were not spared the blushes as most were barred from entering the stadium and after paying their way in, very belatedly, some were not even allowed the privilege of pitch access beyond the perimeter fence for routine interviews with coaches and players after the match.
In the end, most scribes could not get post-match interviews!
The easily excitable security marshals did not help matters either as they officiously and overzealously shoved the paying fans and journalists, coming just short of assaulting them even!
On an even shorter end of the stick, Gamechangerâ€™s heart sank at the sight of a Diamond FM colleague cutting a disillusioned figure outside the stadium with the match well already underway.
Now, following those atrocities committed by the executive against the fans and journalists, Friday Football Echoes was left grappling with pertinent questions.
Does this not dampen the spirits of the fans whose following is crucial to the team in many aspects?
Does this not put off potential partners, whose affiliation to the club is critical in several respects?
Only some weeks ago, the club was appealing to well-wishers and the corporate world to come to the clubâ€™s assistance and lift it out of the its financial doldrums. Gegegegege! Come on, Gusha executive, do you think someone in their right frame of mind would pump their resources into the team when their presence is not acknowledged and appreciated?
What Exactly Is Your Job, Mr Masekesa?
Clayton Masekesa, the so-called Mutare City Rovers publicist, what is your job when you cannot assist journalists gain entrance into the stadium and secure them passage beyond the perimeter fence so they can conduct post-match interviews? Do you know that you, perhaps inadvertently, denied them a chance to get a story by talking to the players and coaches after the match?
Are you not a journalist yourself?
Have you not been here before, going to a stadium to cover a football match?
Or you are no longer one of us because you have wormed yourself into Gusha Bhoraâ€™s executive?
Or maybe you think the team only belongs to Mutare City Council and the executive and no other person should take interest in it?
Or you want to put off the few people who have genuine interest in the team and have been following the teamâ€™s progress?
Or maybe you are now too busy for your colleagues as you pamper yourself in the cosy comforts of being in that amateurish executive at the expense of the players who continue to wallow in poor welfare?
You badly let your colleagues down on this one, Mr Masekesa!
This was only a publicist-sized hole and you dismally failed to fill it, Mr Masekesa!
Is this your way of generating publicity for your club with the media when you let them get pushed and shoved around and treated like peasants queuing up to have freebies doled out to them at a farm shop?
You know virtually every practising scribe in Mutare in person, Mr Masekesa â€“ by name and face â€“ and most feel you were out of reach when they needed you on this particular occasion. As a conduit between the executive, media and public what exactly are you doing?
This team is not at all an island, entire unto itself, and cannot live or survive without others!
At best, this executive is in a public circus; with grownups, who think of themselves as professionals, being the chief clowns. At worst, this is purely childâ€™s play; mamhuza chaiwo!
Hakuna bhora rakadaro!
And in so doing, this executive keeps exposing itself as most guys appear out of touch with the realities on the ground and clueless on many aspects that come and go with running a football team.
Running a football team comes with lots of rigours.
This is not football, gentlemen. Not by any standards!
Maybe this is the ideal scenario where our militant dear sister Cecelia Gambe would come in handy and take a fight to the Gusha executive and knock some sense into their heads, which they must have grown for decoration, on how they are reversing the gains the team has made so far.
You surely must be hanging your heads in shame!
As Warriors Prepare For Battle
Just over a week before the Warriors troop into battle for a crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi at National Sports Stadium, all eyes will be on how the senior menâ€™s team goes about its preparations. The fixture has a huge bearing on the eventual outcome of Group L and the Warriors would need to make the most of this tie by winning and tighten their grip at the top of the group.
While Young Warriors coach Jairos Tapera rued the preparations in the build up to his chargesâ€™ Under-20 2017 Afcon Second Round, First Leg qualifier at home to Cameroon on Sunday, we hope this disturbing pattern does not recur and leave the Warriors ill-prepared going into the tie.
Letâ€™s go for victory because we can do it.
Go, Warriors, Go!
End Of The Philosophy Phase, In Comes A Special Era
Even winning the FA Cup, one of the worldâ€™s most prestigious trophies, could not save Louis van Gaal his Old Trafford job as the Manchester United hierarchy hit the â€œEXITâ€ button, which effectively saw the curtain coming down on an era of philosophy at the Red Devilsâ€™ Carrington Training Ground base.
Most football fans across the globe will be keenly following events at the majestic English club, eager to see if the incoming self-anointed â€œSpecial Oneâ€ Jose Mourinho â€“ a serial winner, by someâ€™s standards â€“ shall leave a legacy of a â€œspecialâ€ era at the club.
Jurgen Kloppâ€™s awful record in cup finals continued when his Liverpool crashed to a 1-3 Europa League defeat at the hands of defending champions Sevilla, who were winning the trophy for a record third consecutive time. From his native Germany to England, the bespectacled tactician has had only one fruitful outing in his last six major cup finals.
As has become the norm with him, the Anfield boss, who famously promised his charges that there would be another cup final after agonisingly losing on a penalty shootout to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final in February, again, declared to his dejected players that they would play in many other cup finals.
Well, only time will tell if Jurgen will get jogging, the Klopp get ticking and the Kop get klopping when he eventually gets to lead the Reds to a victorious cup final. Meanwhile, the Kopites, among whom Yours Truly is also a fanatic, will Dream On and Walk On, as the Merseyside sideâ€™s club anthem suggests, because â€œYouâ€™ll Never Walk Aloneâ€!
Itâ€™s Game On, Play On!
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