Warriors sign Umbro kit deal

HARARE - Zifa and Umbro yesterday announced a partnership in which the British sportswear supplier becomes the official apparel and equipment supplier for the Warriors at next year’s African Nations Championship (Chan) finals.

Although financial details of the agreement were not released, Zifa, who prior to this deal had no official kit sponsor, are eager to sign a long-term deal with the British company after the Chan tournament.

Umbro, through their Sales Director from South Africa, Donovan Bell, presented the kit to the team and announced it had entered into a partnership with Zifa for the Chan finals.

They will provide the official playing kits, track suits, balls, training equipment, boots among other things to the national team.

“We haven’t had plans with the Warriors but I was approached by the national team coach, Ian Gorowa, who said ‘could you come with it to Zifa and see what we can come up with’,” Bell said during the presentation ceremony yesterday.

“It is for Chan, but maybe we can take it from there including other squads like the junior teams. Our pure focus is on football.

“We are dressing the Warriors for Chan as agreed between Umbro and Zifa and maybe we can take it from there a little bit further. Hopefully we will come to that deal with Zifa.”

Zimbabwe, who are the top seeds in Group B which also includes Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda, are already in camp and will begin preparations today.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube lauded the Umbro sponsorship and revealed Zifa’s willingness to tie a long term partnership.

“We witness the provision of technical support by Umbro who have seen it fit to dress the Warriors ahead of the 2014 Chan tournament,” Dube said in his statement.

“Umbro will kit the friendship team and the association would like to place on record our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Umbro for the interest they have shown in the Warriors brand.

“The Warriors brand is a strong brand which no sponsor can afford to ignore. We urge Umbro to flood the local and South African market with paraphernalia for the fans ahead of the Chan tournament.

“We implore Umbro to have confidence in working closely with local football over the next three months beyond which our relationship shall be reviewed.

“Let me hasten to point out that, the Association would like to see a transparent selection process obtaining soon after the Chan to designate a long term technical partner for the local game.”

Dube also extended his gratitude to transport company Lighmart for providing a vehicle to national team coach Ian Gorowa. The Zifa president revealed a handover ceremony will be held to present Gorowa with his car.

The Warriors will be making their third consecutive appearance at the Chan finals, which is designed specifically for footballers plying their trade in domestic leagues across the continent.

Zimbabwe has failed to go past the group stages in the previous two additions in 2009 and 2011, and will be hoping to make a cut at next month’s tournament.

The Group will play all their matches at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town and the Warriors are scheduled to leave on January 6 for the tournament.

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