New dawn for Warriors

HARARE - Zimbabwe's rebuilding exercise will kick-off next week when the Warriors travel to Gaborone for an international friendly against Botswana. 

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) in August announced it has disbanded the Warriors after failure to progress to the later stages of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, although the real meaning of that decision remains to be seen.

Zimbabwe were dumped out in the first round stage after losing 3-2 to Tanzania on aggregate, a result which effectively cost former coach Ian Gorowa his job.

Gorowa stepped down as Warriors coach and with the country faced with at a least a two-year hiatus from international football, Zifa decided to disband the national team and concentrate on junior development.

With Zifa cornered by a parliamentary committee following the catastrophic result, the move was however, at that time, seen as a smokescreen by the local football governing body.

Zifa has previously disbanded the national side, but the affected players, still in the prime of their careers, were later recalled into the team.

This time around, Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa was named the substantive national Under-23 coach which makes him the de-facto Warriors coach in the absence of a technical team for the national team.

Yesterday, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) announced that the Zebras will be playing the Warriors at the National Stadium Gaborone on September 30 as part of that country’s 48th Independence celebrations.

The Warriors are expected to jet into Gaborone on September 28, two days before the match.

The Zebras are using the match as part of their preparations for the 2015 Afcon Group G qualifier against Egypt on October 10 in Gaborone.

Botswana are hoping to pick up their first set of three points in the clash against the Pharaohs after already losing to Tunisia and Senegal earlier this month.

While all the attention will be on the Zebras as they fine tune for the Pharaohs clash, it will be a new beginning for Zimbabwe.

It is not clear what kind of team Zimbabwe will line-up for this match considering all that has happened in the previous months.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela confirmed the match but was elusive with the finer details.

“Yes, the match is on but I will only give you the full details tomorrow (today),” Gwesela told the Daily News.

Although most Zimbabweans have become disenchanted with the national team following recent disappointments, most people will be eager to see what kind of team that will be named for this friendly match.

On the other hand, Botswana coach Peter Butler has already announced a 25-man squad for the match.

Meanwhile, this friendly match comes at a time when the two countries are making efforts to collaborate to host the 2017 Afcon finals.

Zimbabwe had initially invited Zambia to be the co-host but the proposal was turned down in Lusaka.

A Zambian Cabinet minister announced on Monday that his country will bid alone.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) earlier this month called upon interested associations to bid for the 2017 Afcon after Libya pulled out due to political unrest in the North African country.

Caf set a deadline of September 30 for all bids to be submitted and they will announce the winners in the first quarter of 2015.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.