HARARE – Khama Billiat is still having a tough time coming to terms with Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the 2013 African Nations Cup.
The Warriors lost out to Angola at Estadio 11 de Novembro two weeks ago, despite having taken a 3-1 advantage from the first leg to the away tie.
Billiat has also played down talk that the match-fixing saga at the time involving some of his countrymen was a distraction.
Black Leopards coach Sunday Chidzambwa, along with PSL defenders Method Mwanjali and Thomas Sweswe, have since received life bans from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) for their involvement in the illegal activity.
“It was very disappointing because it is an opportunity that comes once, after a long time, and some of us have never played in the Afcon.
“It was a big thing for us but it happens,” Billiat told MTNFootball.
“We are going to look forward and try be there next time.”
The Ajax Cape Town midfielder added: “Personally I think we were prepared.
“We knew it was not going to be easy playing away with an advantage, but when we conceded two (goals) it took us another thirty minutes to come to the party.
“We needed that time to do something but we just couldn’t get enough time.
“We were aware of everything that was going on, but I don’t think that it affected us.
“Individually, it didn’t affect me. I don’t know about the other guys.
“They might be saying “no, it is not affecting us” but maybe they are not being honest.
“It feels bad because it is not just a sport to us, it is our life.
“For us to be banned — it is just not cool man. We will try, by all means, to be with them but at the end of the day they have to sit down and think about it.” — Football411