Warriors fail to train

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s national football yesterday failed to train in preparation for Sunday’s 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Comoros.

The Warriors are scheduled to take on the Indian Ocean island side in the preliminary round of the tournament to be staged in Rwanda next January.

Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa on Monday named a 24-member squad for the tie billed for Rufaro Stadium.

The Chan tournament is a competition reserved for only players who are plying their trade in their respective home countries.

At the last edition of the comepetition in South Africa in January 2014, the Warriors under Ian Gorowa finished reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Libya on penalties. 

“The coach has notified us of the players he wishes to work with and we are currently seized with the process of securing those players for preparations to run smoothly,” Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said on Tuesday.

“We are expecting the boys to come during the course of the day and we have great conviction that on Wednesday morning the coach will have his whole wish list at the training ground.”

But yesterday, Gwesela was singing a different tune.

“I don’t know where the team is going to train today. You will have to ask the coaches,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Pasuwa proved fruitless by the time of going to press last night.

The Daily News, however, established the team did not train yesterday as scheduled to prepare fr Sunday’s encounter.

Most of the players were still with their respective Castle Premiership clubs as they have matches scheduled for this weekend.

All the players based outside Harare were still travelling to the capital yesterday afternoon and would only get into camp by last night.

This disregard of preparations has become the norm at Zifa with Warriors assignments taken lightly.

Only last week, the national team only started training on Wednesday for last Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) away qualifier against Malawi.

The players refused to travel to Blantyre on Thursday as they demanded their match fees and allowances which resulted in them missing their flight.

In the end, Walter Magaya bailed out Zifa when he agreed to bankroll the players’ outstanding demands.

The Warriors finally travelled to Malawi on Friday afternoon and arrived in Blantyre in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Despite their lack of preparations, Zimbabwe were able to beat Malawi 2-1 to kick-start their 2017 Afcon qualifying campaign on a positive note.

It seems Zimbabwe is underestimating Comoros ahead of Sunday’s tie hoping that the will again defy odds and get a win.

After arriving from Malawi, Pasuwa said: “I haven’t heard much about Comoros. This is the first time I’ve heard about them. I’ve also not done much research on them.

“I hope Zifa have done the right thing for us so that we go into camp early. Mostly we will consider the Under-23 players.”          

Midfielder Danny Phiri and defender Justice Jangano are the only senior players in the squad with Pasuwa relying on the bulk of the players from the Young Warriors squad.

Squad: Tatenda Makuruva, Bernard Donovan, Takabva Mawaya, Blessing Moyo, Justice Jangano, Teenage Hadebe, Liberty Chakoroma, Ronald Pfumbidzayi, Danny Phiri, Gerald Takwara, Raphael Kawondera, Jimmy Kanono, Nqobizitha Masuku, Wisdom Mutasa, Marshal Mudehwe, Malvin Gaki, Edmore Chirambadare, Tinotenda Kadewere, Thomas Chideu, Prichard Mpelele, Mgcini Sibanda, Evans Rusike, Divine Lungu, Emmanuel Mandiranga

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