Young Warriors' Congo trip in limbo

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Under-17 football team is struggling to mobilise funds to travel to Congo-Brazzaville for the second leg of the African Youth Championship qualifier, despite being less than 72 hours from the scheduled kick-off.

The Young Warriors trail the 2011 African Youth Championship bronze medallist 2-1 from the first leg in Harare almost a fortnight ago.

Tinotenda Kadewere weighed in with the goal that gave Zimbabwe a chance to turn the tables on the Congolese.

The second leg has been set for the Stade Alphonse Massamba Debat in the Congolese capital on Friday afternoon.

Yesterday, Zimbabwe Junior Football League chairperson Zivanai Chiyangwa hinted the team would leave for the Central African country today to resume their qualification quest.

However, Zifa chief operating officer Joseph Mamutse was uncertain of the precise travel arrangements, only saying: “We will have a position tomorrow.”

Zifa board member for development, Benedict Moyo, who usually travels with national youth teams, could not shed light on the matter.

Failure by the Under-17s to fulfil the fixture will add to the country’s junior football woes.

The Zimbabwe Under-20 side is presently facing a $5 000 fine and three-year ban by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) after failing to travel to Angola in August to fulfil the second leg of an Under-20 Africa Youth Championships qualifier.

The Young Warriors were trailing 1-0 from the first leg played at Rufaro Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Under-17s this week received a boost from local clothing manufacturer Faithwear, who donated bags and shirts for the travelling party.

“We are great full to Faithwear, it’s this type of support that motivates in times like these,” Chiyangwa said.

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