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No cash for Warriors Afcon trip

Kevin Mapasure

CASH strapped Zifa have once again extended their begging bowl in a bid to raise money for the Warriors’ trip to Mali for their crucial 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier on  March 27.

Zifa have no money to buy air tickets for the foreign based players and are equally incapacitated to fund the camp for the squad in the run up to the match. The association is pinning all hopes on a US$300 000 grant from Fifa.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube had to dig deep into his own pockets to save the situation for the women’s national team, Mighty Warriors ahead of their All-Africa games qualifier against Zambia last Sunday.

Dube forked out about US$5 000 for the trip. Mighty Warriors went on to beat Zambia to progress to the final round of the 2011 All-Africa games scheduled for Mozambique.

But the demands for the Mali game are much bigger.

Dube told IndependentSport that the association had no money but he was hoping that they would have received cash from Fifa by the time the team departs for the West African country.

“We are still waiting to get something from Fifa. We hope by the time the players have to start coming in we would have received the money,” said Dube. “I used money from my pocket for the Mighty Warriors trip to Zambia and I am happy they did well but government should come in and help us like what happens in other countries.”

Since assuming leadership of broke Zifa, Dube has personally bailed out Dynamos and various national teams. The association applied for more financial help from the world football governing body after a retreat in Kariba last year.

Zifa has regularly suffered the embarrassment of players threatening to boycott matches and training over unpaid allowances.

With the importance of the match in Bamako, the Warriors need the best preparations possible and have a friendly match against Namibia lined up.

Zifa will have to fly in players, most of whom are based in South Africa, to Namibia for their week-long camp in addition to paying allowances and bonuses depending on the results.

Zimbabwe has so far managed two draws from as many matches, trailing Cape Verde and Mali who are on four and three points respectively. One team from the group will win an automatic ticket to the finals that will be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next January.

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