ANOTHER day, another tournament, different venue, different opponents, but same old story of the chaos characterising the Warriors’ camp ahead of crucial ties.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
With Tanzania standing between them and a further stay in the 2015 qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium, the Warriors yesterday made fresh financial demands to Zifa, turning around from what they had previously agreed.
The Warriors go into the match looking at erasing an eight-year absence from the continental showpiece, but events on the ground where they briefly boycotted training, points towards that same script of failure which appeared to have been exorcised following their debut appearance in 2004 under Sunday Chidzambwa.
Carrying a 0-1 deficit going into the second leg on home soil, the Warriors might have brought a foot shooting season upon themselves as this is a must-win match for them.
While their opponents Tanzania were locked out of their hotel after Zifa’s failure to pay the required funds on Friday, the Warriors’ threatened not to fulfill today’s fixture unless Zifa met their fresh financial demands.
When Standardsport visited the team’s lodge in the city yesterday, the Warriors’ entire technical team, among them head coach Ian Gorowa, Kalisto Pasuwa, Gift Muzadzi, Richard Tswatswa and Nick Munyonga, was standing outside engrossed in a meeting.
Gorowa was not happy with the journalists’ visit and vented his anger on the guard who had let the Standardsport crew in.
“Why did you let them in? This is a private lodge and people should not be freely allowed to enter,” he fumed at the security guard.
To the reporters he said; “Why are you here? You cannot just come here without first informing us. Right now we are in the middle of a meeting. Okay, I will talk to you after our meeting.”
Team manager Sharrif Mussa confirmed that the Warriors camp was on fire as the players were back tracking on their earlier agreement with the association.
“Issues to do with money are not new at all. The players and Zifa had agreed on a fee for this match, but the players are now turning back demanding more money. We are surprised by the players’ actions and we do not know where all this is coming from.
Though they trained, we do not know where their demands are coming from. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the figures they are demanding,” said Mussa.
News of discontent in the Warriors’ camp has certainly come at a wrong time, especially with the absence of the injured proven goal scorers Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Peter Moyo.
However, though the final 18 were still to be decided by last night, Willard Katsande, Ovidy Karuru, Edward Sadomba and Tendai Ndoro – if they make the team – might be the fulcrum of the squad.
While the Warriors camp is burning, the Tanzanians seem to be quietly readying themselves for a shocking victory.
The “Taifa Stars” have in their ranks the TP Mazembe duo of Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu who jetted into the country on Friday. John Bocco, scorer of what might turn out to be the decisive goal in Tanzania two weeks ago is also in the team, giving coach Mart Nooj something to smile about.