IT was called the trip of shame — a 600km bus ride which saw the Warriors arrive in Blantyre, Malawi, just hours before their 2017 AFCON qualifier against the Flames.
Callisto Pasuwa, their national team coach back then, provided the enduring image of that bus ride, with his two-in-one blanket, on a bitterly cold June morning in 2015.
In today’s world of social media, the image went viral and, for many, months it was a sign of everything that had gone wrong with our national game.
It reflected the poor planning, which is usually associated with national assignments, by leaders who seemingly had no clue of what it means to occupy their positions of authority.
Cuthbert Dube was the ZIFA president, back then and, after coming into power on the promise he would provide the corporate touch needed, to give this game a new direction, the wheels truly come off.
His mission had clearly failed and his off-shore model of leadership, where he didn’t even care to come and watch the Warriors in action, was being crudely exposed.
The chickens were coming home to roost, the ghosts were tumbling from the closet, and ZIFA — choked by a mountain of debt and saddled by poor leadership — was crumbling.
Sadly, those who had preached the gospel of success, when they were asking to be given the chance to lead the game, had proved to be just another pack of failures.