Poor planning will hurt Warriors

HARARE - Poor planning by the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) will hamper the Warriors’ bid to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Morocco.

Upon re-election in March, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said ensuring the Warriors are part of the 16 teams in Morocco early next year was his major goal.

Zimbabwe is set to take on Tanzania in a first round qualifier away next weekend in Dar es Salaam.

The winner of this encounter will qualify for the second round where they will meet the winner of the tie between Mozambique and South Sudan.

If the Warriors get past the second round, they will enter the group stages where they will be pooled in Group F together with Zambia, Cape Verde and Niger.

On Thursday, Warriors coach Ian Gorowa announced a 22-man provisional squad for the match against Tanzania with the bulk of the players coming from the domestic league.

Warriors team manager Shariff Mussa showed confusion in the Warriors’ camp when he said: “The team is expected in camp on Monday and will start training Tuesday onwards. The team will be trimmed to 18 shortly before our departure on Thursday or Friday.”

It is surprising that the national team is only a week away from such an important qualifier and Mussa is not aware of when the team is expected to travel.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) conducted the draw for these qualifiers on April 27 and all the national associations knew who they would be playing.

Up until this stage, Zifa are yet to organise the team’s itinerary for this trip. Recent history has shown that Zifa will leave it until the last minute to take their begging bowl for funds to finance the trip.

In the end, the team will travel to Dar es Salaam on the eve of the match and will get less than 24 hours to acclimatise to the weather in the central African country.

By the time the draw was announced, Zifa was supposed to have started working to ensure that the Warriors’ travelling arrangements were all sorted out by the time the players report for camp on Monday.

Now Gorowa and his players will lose valuable preparation time with the uncertainty in their travelling arrangements.

Such issues might seem less important but in a world of professional sport, there are fine margins between success and failure.

 

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