Young Warriors hailed

HARARE - Zifa president Cuthbert Dube has led the plaudits for the victorious Zimbabwe Under-23 national team which has qualified for the 2015 All-Africa Games.

The Young Warriors reached the finals to be staged in Congo-Brazzaville in September after dispatching the highly-fancied Cameroon in the final qualifying round.

Zimbabwe won the first leg 1-0 in Harare three weeks ago before going to Yaounde where they held the Cameroonians to a 1-1 draw to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

When Calisto Pasuwa and his Young Warriors squad left for the second leg, very few people gave them a chance.

In the build up to the game, odds were heavily staked against the them after they received little support during preparations.

Pasuwa and his technical team were unable to work with their preferred players for the two encounters against their more fancied opponents and even though they were carrying a slender lead from the first leg, it appeared a mammoth task in Yaounde.

Premiership teams refused to release their best players as the games fall outside the Fifa calendar, but Pasuwa was always determined they could still do it.

Dynamos defender Blessing Moyo scored the all-important goal from the spot kick cancelling out a penalty by the West Africans in the first half.

“We would like to congratulate the U-23 national team for a heroic showing that ensured we qualify for the African Games,” Dube told the Zifa website.

“As an association, we take pride in the devotion by the young warriors to emerge victorious even in the face of several crippling factors.

“Our football can be breath- taking once again if all of us can emulate the devotion we have seen in this crop of players and the technical team.”

The Zifa president also appealed to the government and corporate sector for funding to help the team prepare for the finals.

“Let me also reiterate that we are in dire need of government and corporate sponsorship,” he said.

“We appeal to various football stakeholders to partner the association in these trying times. Sponsors can also pay directly to service providers.”

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also hailed Pasuwa and his players for the feat they achieved. 

“Well done the Young Warriors for qualifying for the African Games which are set to take place in Congo — Brazzaville in September 2015,” said the SRC in a statement.

“However, we wish to point out that the clubs’ behaviour was deplorable to say the least. How could they recall players when they were in camp?

“Was this meant to sabotage the mission or what? While the clubs argue that they did not get the communication from Zifa, still  they got it from the coach, granted that was not proper — but were we supposed to disrupt training?

“We think this should have been settled in a way that was not going to disrupt the training programme.”  

Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela said they would do all they can to ensure this team reaches greater heights.

“As we have said earlier on, the core of our national team depends on the Under-23. We want to make sure these guys are kept together,” Gwesela said.

“We could maybe add a few players but the important thing is, the core of the squad is there.

“They proved beyond doubt that they are capable and I am sure they need to get enough resources to prepare them for future assignments.”

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Comments (1)

zifa ndiyo yakatadza ingadai yakaosponda ma game e psl

ak - 15 April 2015

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