Following Swaziland’s withdrawal from the All-Africa Games qualifiers, the Zimbabwe national Under-23 team has returned to sleep ahead of a second round clash with Cameroon.
BY OUR STAFF
Kalisto Pasuwa’s boys had been scheduled to travel to Mbabane for the first round, first leg this weekend.
Before Swaziland pulled out, Zimbabwe’s technical team had complained over lack of camping while Zifa cited financial incapacity as the major hindrance to early preparations.
The All-Africa Games would be hosted by Congo Brazzaville in September with the top three football teams from the competition automatically qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.
While other countries are stepping up preparations for the All-Africa Games, the Zifa board spent the better part of Friday’s meeting embroiled in personal fights, with cracks widening between members.
Pasuwa’s side faces Cameroon in May.
Zifa broke the news of Swaziland pulling out through their official website a few weeks ago, but the association’s communications manager Xolisani Gwesela last week professed ignorance of the first round-bye Zimbabwe has earned.
“At the moment we are not aware that Swaziland have withdrawn. We are waiting for CAF to notify us of Swaziland’s withdrawal then we can start talking of Cameroon. I cannot speak on behalf of CAF,” said Gwesela.
Zifa cannot reveal a clear plan on the Young Warriors as Gwesela just said they intend to engage friendlies with local teams, although he could not give dates as has usually been the case.
Pasuwa suggested the games against PSL teams last year, but up to date nothing of that sort has materialised.
“Something is being done. We want to play matches with local teams,” Gwesela said.
Zifa last year commendably organised three friendlies for the Young Warriors against Botswana, Swaziland and Morocco.
The Morocco match saw European-based players being included in what appeared to be the right path taken by the country.
But the team’s inactivity two months into the new year could prove to be a drawback that could cost Zimbabwe against the mighty Cameroon.