Coach Ian Gorowa has been handed another chance to continue building his Warriors, following an international friendly match proposal by record African champions Egypt in Cairo.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
On behalf of the Egypt Football Association (EFA), England-based match agents Immersive Management wrote to Zifa last Wednesday requesting the friendly.
“Would Zimbabwe be available for an urgent friendly this weekend in Egypt?” wrote Immersive official Michael Williams to Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze.
“The EFA would pay all expenses, however not an appearance fee. I understand the short time scale involved.”
The Pharaohs initially wanted the match to be played this weekend, but the local football governing body felt the invitation was given at short notice.
Zifa have since written back requesting the friendly be staged on October 9, and they now await feedback from the Egypt football federation
In their proposal, Egypt stated that they would cater for all of the Warriors’ expenses including airfares.
“It is an all-expenses-paid trip. We have since communicated with them on our position and what is left now, is for them to come back to us and then tie a match-staging agreement. The technical team is now aware of this match and has already started laying ground for a formidable squad that will give Egypt a competitive edge, since they have made it clear that they want to face a strong side,” Mashingaidze said.
The seven-time African champions want a friendly against the Warriors as they prepare for the two-legged final World Cup qualifying round against Ghana next month.
The Pharaohs are bidding for a first World Cup appearance since 1990. Zimbabwe were in Group G together with Egypt in the World Cup qualifiers second round and succumbed to the Pharaohs home and away.
After battling to a 2-1 reverse fixture victory sealed right at the death, Egypt coach Bob Bradley spoke glowingly of Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona, and conceded the threat posed by the duo when the North Africans came for the return leg in Zimbabwe where they convincingly won 4-1.
Also, Gorowa’s six-match unbeaten run which includes away wins over Zambia and South Africa could have encouraged Egypt to pick Zimbabwe for a sparring session ahead of the crucial Ghana showdown.