Windfall for Warriors

HARARE - Buoyed by their new partnership with Total, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) yesterday announced an increased purse for all their 2017 continental competitions.

This should be good news for the Warriors, who will be taking part in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Gabon from January 14 to February 5.

Caf recently agreed a sponsorship deal with Total which has seen a 64 percent increase in the prize money for the next two Afcon finals.

According to the schedule of the prize money break down released by the continental football governing body yesterday, the four teams finishing last in their groups in Gabon will pocket $475 000 each. 

The Warriors were placed in a very tough Group B together with African heavyweights Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia.

In the event, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men finish bottom of Group B, they will return home with close to half a million dollars.

In the previous Afcon finals, all teams which finished bottom of their groups got $400 000 each.

The Warriors will earn $575 000 in the event they finish third at the competition.

The real money though starts to come if the Warriors are to make it into the later stages of the competition by finishing in first or second place in their group.

It will be history in the making because Zimbabwe have not reached the last eight of the competition in previous two editions they have been at the Afcon finals in 2004 and 2006.

A quarter-final placing in Gabon carries $800 000, which is a 33 percent increase in prize money from $600 000 the past quarter-finalists received.

Richer pickings are to be found in the semi-finals and if Zimbabwe reach this stage, they will be looking at a fat cheque of $1,5 million.

Caf has significantly increased the prize money for the semi-finalists by a staggering 100 percent as the previous reward stood at $750 000.

Oiled by the sponsorship from the French petroleum giant, Caf have raised the stakes even higher for the two teams that will go all the way to the final.

The losing finalists will walk away with $2 million while the team to be crowned champions at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville on February 5 will get an astounding $4 million.

When the Ivory Coast beat Ghana on penalties to win the 2015 Afcon title in Equatorial Guinea, the Elephants were given only $1,6 million.

This time around, Caf has ensured the purse accordingly befits African champions.

Warriors captain Willard Katsande welcomed the increase in prize money for the competition.

“Obviously, this is a good incentive for us the players,” Katsande told the Daily News yesterday.

“The more we advance in the tournament means the more money we are likely to get.

“In order for us to get that money, we have to play well and make sure we are not going there to just make up the numbers.”

Katsande added: “We have a very good team which can cause an upset and with this extra motivation of an increase in prize money; it will only spur the boys to do well not only for themselves but for the entire country.”  

In a bid to fine-tune the squad ahead of the Gabon tournament, the Warriors will take on Tanzania in a friendly international at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Katsande said they will be taking this encounter seriously against the Taifa Stars.

“We are going to field our best side for this match. It is the only last available date on the Fifa calendar when we can play a friendly before we go to Gabon,” the Kaizer Chiefs midfield enforcer said.

“Some people might think we will approach this game as a friendly but for us, we will treat it like a cup final.”

2017 Afcon Prize Money

Winner:  $4 million

Runner-up: $2 million

Semi-finalists: $1,5 million

Quarter-finalists: $800 000

3rd of Group: $575 000

4th of Group: $475 000

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