Warriors resume camp

HARARE - The Zimbabwe national football team went back into camp yesterday and immediately held their first training session in the afternoon as they step up preparations for the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) finals set for Rwanda next month.

Preparations for the Chan tournament had been put into turmoil after Zifa sacked coach Calisto Pasuwa and his entire technical staff under controversial circumstances, when the Warriors were in day three of preparations.

That decision saw camp being dissolved giving players an opportunity to join their families for the Christmas holiday.

The association later reversed their decision following a public outcry and directive from the minister of Sports Makhosini Hlongwane to reinstate Pasuwa, which was also followed by an apology.

And yesterday it was back to serious business as the Warriors resumed training with 25 players reporting for duty while the rest are expected today. The Warriors wasted little time yesterday holding their first training session in the afternoon at Gateway High School.

Ocean Mushure, who was last week frozen out by the technical department for failing to heed national team call-up in time was among those who reported for camp early this time around.

Last week, Pasuwa insisted he would go and give his best at the Chan tournament in Rwanda scheduled for January 16, 2016 while putting in place a programme to compensate for the lost time.

“I am back again and I am working. With the support I received from the fans I think I should reward them,” he said.

“I am happy to be back and we are calling the guys to report back for camp. But again we will have to try and manage the programme so that we can compensate for the lost time.”

Zimbabwe will be making their fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament, which is specifically designed for footballers plying their trade in domestic leagues across the continent.

The Warriors, who were seeded due to their previous good performances in the competition, are in Group D where they will face Zambia, Mali and Uganda and all their group matches will be played at the Rubavu Stadium in Gisenyi. The Warriors finished fourth in the last edition held in South Africa. The Warriors, who were then under the guidance of Ian Gorowa, lost the bronze medal play-off match to Nigeria.

The first edition was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast with DR Congo emerging as the champions. The second edition was held in 2011 in Sudan where Tunisia emerged winners while Libya won the third edition in South Africa last year. 

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