Rally behind Warriors – Dube

HARARE - Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube has urged the new-look Warriors squad not to be complacent against Egypt during next Tuesday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Alexandria.

The Warriors squad flew out of the country yesterday for Egypt and speaking at the team’s send-off ceremony, Dube said the team should also start to concentrate on the 2015 African Nations Cup finals to be held in Morocco.   

New Zimbabwe interim football coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels has attracted the ire of some local football fans after he decided to select a relatively young and in-experienced squad for the Pharaohs game.

Pagels omitted a number of foreign based players like Tapuwa Kapini, Kingston Nkhatha, Esrom Nyandoro, Tinashe Nengomasha, Edward Sadomba, Cuthbert Malajila and Vusa Nyoni.

“Football and Zimbabwe’s detractors have been making all sorts of noises about the team and I urge the team to be focused,” Dube said.

“Don’t listen to that Mr Pagels. I know there are people who are praying that the Zimbabwe team must fall when they go to Egypt and when Egypt come here.

“Don’t listen to such small minds. They are misguided missiles so don’t pay attention to them at all. Otherwise all the attention that should go to the players will go to answering those people.

“So I’m urging all patriotic Zimbabweans to rally behind the Warriors. Egypt’s Pharaohs are indeed beatable. There is no doubt about it because they are human beings.

“You can beat them 3-1 and when they come here you can also beat them 5-2.”

Dube added: “Admitted and granted that we have not performed well in the past and our thrust now Mr Pagels is that we should now concentrate on the 2015 Afcon.

“But I don’t want to lay some complacency that you must go and be beaten so forth. No, no, no.

“Honestly if I were in your shoes I would have said this is a building exercise and we have said it is the year of reconstruction and this team has great potential to lift up the Zimbabwean flag.”

Zimbabwe’s trip to Egypt was in doubt since last year owing to Zifa’s precarious financial situation.

The trip was however made possible by the intervention of the newly constituted Zimbabwe Football Trust (ZFT), which ran around mobilising resources in order fo0r the warriors to fulfil the fixture.

“The trip to Egypt by the Warriors has been hanging in the balance owing to the financial constraints the association is facing and allow me ladies and gentlemen to salute the ZFT for the tremendous work they have done mobilising resources for the trip,” said Dube.

“ZFT are barely a month old in office and they have shown that they mean business. The trip to Egypt will serve as the ZFT’s first bench mark.”

ZFT chairman retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, who is the chairman of Marange Resources, urged the Warriors to give their best against the Pharaohs next Tuesday.

“ZFT would like to rout for the Warriors in the crunch tie against the Pharaohs next week,” he said.

“The Warriors should always remember that the Pharaohs are not invincible. They are immortals like you and you must believe that you are Warriors.

“Let us take the game to the Pharaohs and the rest should be history.”

Meanwhile, the Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said they have received assurances from both the Egyptian Football Association and the Interior Ministry that the Warriors will be safe during their stay in Alexandria.

“We have been assured by our embassy in Egypt that Alexandria is a safe venue for this blood and thunder tie and the onus is upon us to do duty for the motherland diligently,” he said.

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