HARARE – In a sign of lack of respect for journalists and their role in informing the nation, Zimbabwe’s football team management yesterday snubbed reporters who intended to cover the team’s preparations for Sunday’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Angola.
Coach Rahman Gumbo on Tuesday declined to entertain requests from reporters, and as if that was not enough, proceeded to gag players from talking to the media.
Gumbo’s silent war with reporters — whose only crime is trying to do their job of informing the nation on developments in their national team’s camp ahead of a crucial international match, continued yesterday.
Firstly, Gumbo and team manager Nyika Chifamba eluded reporters who they let wait at Rufaro Stadium the whole afternoon when the training session had secretly been moved to the Italian Sports Club in Strathaven.
When a Daily News crew learnt of the changed venue and made its way to the Sports Club, the team had already left.
Chifamba, who is the team spokesperson, repeatedly did not answer his mobile phone for media enquiries. The phone was later switched off.
Journalists said they have been shocked by the Warriors technical staff’s primitive behaviour of shirking their responsibility and treating the national team as their own personal property.
Gumbo has a history of giving reporters the cold shoulder, but as national team coach, he has a responsibility to the nation and cannot act as he wishes.
Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, who arrived from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) general assembly in Seychelles last night, said he would address the situation.