Slow start to Warriors camp

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s preparations for their dead-rubber 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique at the weekend started on a low note after only four players reported for camp.

Felix Chindungwe, Danny Phiri, Blessing Chimwamuchere and Ali Sadiki were the only players to pitch up on Tuesday.

Warriors coach Ian Gorowa was also missing as he is reportedly to be in South Africa on unspecified business. His assistants Calisto Pasuwa and Mkhuphali Masuku were forced to remain with their clubs in preparation for mid-week Premiership matches.

On the technical side, only manager Patrick Mutesva and one of the assistant coaches, Jairos Tapera, were seen at Gwanzura Stadium, the venue of the training.

“We did not train as only four players turned up. As the team manager I am very disappointed because this shows we are not serious with our football," Mutesva told the Daily News.

“In as far as I am concerned, the national team is supposed to get first preference and when things are like this it becomes a mockery. We don’t get a lot of these international matches.

“Since we are on rebuilding this is an opportunity for us to gauge our progress but somehow it’s not the case. This means coaches will only have one day to prepare for this game as was the case when we played Zambia in the first leg of the Chan qualifier.

“After all people will be expecting the team to deliver. Head coach Ian Gorowa is still in South Africa and we are expecting him any time. Unfortunately all the assistants could not make it as they are busy with their clubs preparing for mid-week matches.”

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela played down the slow start to camp. 

“Everything is in control. Zifa and PSL struck a compromise to have mid-week matches played. Players will join camp soon after their team’s matches,” Gwesela said.

“We are taking this game seriously. It’s very important to us and we are expecting a positive result from the team. I am sure it will help us improve on Fifa rankings.”

Zimbabwe are at the bottom of Group G with one point, and with one qualifier remaining against the Mozambicans at the weekend, the Warriors are out of contention for a place at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

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