Mighty Warriors camp delayed

HARARE - Financial constraints have forced the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to once again shift the Mighty Warriors’ camp to an unknown date.

The Mighty Warriors, who will represent the country at next month’s Africa Women Cup of Nations (AFWCON) in Cameroon, were scheduled to go into camp on Thursday to begin preparations but the camp was called off.

Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela yesterday told the Daily News the “association is still seized with logistics” saying they expect the team to go into camp next week.

But this will come as a huge blow to coach Shadreck Mlauzi and his technical team, who had expressed desire to have a long camp with the team to enable them enough time to fine tune the squad ahead of the tournament.

“We have postponed the camp again because we are still seized with logistics,” Gwesela said.

“We are now expecting them to start camp next week. It is true time is no longer on our side but we are doing all we can to ensure the team start its preparations.”

The Mighty Warriors were drawn against African powerhouses Cameroon, South Africa and Egypt in Group A.

Group B consists defending champions Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Kenya.

The AFWCON finals will run from November 19 to December 3.

Mlauzi, who has already submitted his provisional squad, is a worried man.

“Yeah, obviously when things do not go the way you want you are bound to be worried,” Mlauzi said.

“We had wanted a long camp but we know things are difficult, so we will have to wait until the resources are there and we will make use of that time.

“What is more worrying is that time is no longer on our side and most of our opponents have already started preparing.

“We wanted to give a chance to some of the fringe players but at this rate it will be very difficult to tamper much with the team.”

As part of their preparations the Mighty Warriors played Egypt at Rufaro Stadium last month in a hastily-arranged friendly match which they won 2-1 and where Mlauzi had to largely do with a makeshift side after some league teams declined to release their players for national duty.

Earlier this week, permanent secretary in the Sports ministry Godfrey Chipare said national football teams — Mighty Warriors and the Warriors — will not receive any funding from the government for their Africa Cup of Nations assignments.

Chipare, who was appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Sports and Recreation, revealed that his ministry was told by the Treasury to look elsewhere for funds.

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