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Zifa struggle to attract friendlies for next month

AFTER missing the recent week-long international football period, Zifa are still battling to find opponents for the national Under-23 team in next month’s international days.

BY MICHAEL MADYIRA

The Warriors have however been invited for a friendly match by Morocco slated for November 16.

From October 9 to 15, 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and Uefa Euro 2016 qualifiers would be underway, presenting a warm-up opportunity for the Young Warriors. But Zimbabwe is still to find opponents for this period after Zifa stressed that they should never miss an international match.

The Under-23s are currently the country’s flagship following the dissolution of their seniors after a first round exit from the Afcon qualifiers.

The 2016 Olympic Games to be staged in Brazil have now become Zifa’s top priority.

But with less than 30 days to go before the next international days, there is still no Under-23 team in place and Olympic qualifiers are set to begin early next year.

The current developments have given the strongest indication that the Under-23 project is headed for another embarrassing campaign.
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela could not spell out next month’s plans for the Under-23.

Instead, Gwesela laid blame on Libya’s withdrawal from a friendly match that had been scheduled to take place last Wednesday in Morocco.

“There was no time to arrange another friendly match after Libya pulled out at the last minute. We had no other option,” said Gwesela.

This is despite that no preparations for that friendly had been done even before the North Africans announced their withdrawal.

To assert that Under-23 business is at a standstill, supposed coach Kalisto Pasuwa said a week before the Libya friendly date that he could not assemble a team because he was yet to be formally appointed by Zifa.

Apart from Zifa’s financial problems to fulfill assignments, the Warriors’ low standing has a bearing on them attracting opponents for the Under-23 team.

Another challenge at Zifa is their struggle to raise money to fly in overseas-based players.

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