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Zifa censors Young Warriors coach

ZIMBABWE Under-20 football team coach, Jairos Tapera might have landed himself into trouble for publicly attacking his employers Zifa amid revelations that he has been gagged from speaking to the media.

BY STAFF REPORTER

An irate Tapera attacked Zifa for failing to organise a training camp for the Young Warriors, who were together for only three days in preparation for the CAF Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations second round, first leg qualifier against Cameroon, which ended in a goaless draw.

When asked about his plans for the second leg in Yaoundé, Tapera referred all questions to the Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.

“I might have said too much after the first leg against Cameroon, so I have been asked not to speak to the media. For any enquiries regarding the teams’ preparations, you will have to speak to Gwesela,” Tapera said.

Prior to the match against the West Africans, Tapera’s charges were also kicked out of their lodgings ahead of the match before the intervention of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Walter Magaya, who accommodated them at his lodges.

“We were given three days and of those days, we only trained for two, because the other day we couldn’t train due to a problem out of our control. Our opponents got two months of preparations and had three international friendlies. It’s sad for our country to do such, it’s unbelievable.

It’s again unbelievable for these young boys to give such a splendid performance, after training for such a short time. Some of the players, we only trained with them for one day and I had to use my own resources to get some of these boys into camp,” Tapera fumed after last Sunday’s match.

Tapera also revealed that some of them only joining the team as late as on the eve of the match.

The former FC Platinum coach’s comments — although justified given the manner in which his team has been treated — were not taken kindly by the Zifa leadership, which moved swiftly to impose a gag order on the outspoken gaffer.

Meanwhile, the Young Warriors are expected to face similar problems ahead of the second leg in Yaoundé after Tapera’s calls for his charges to continue training were dismissed as Zifa indicated that they didn’t have the funds.

The Young Warriors need an outright win or a scoring draw during the return leg against Cameroon in Yaounde on June 5 to progress to the final round qualifiers where they would meet either Libya or Benin in July.

The winner of the last qualifying round will progress to the 20th edition of the biennial continental youth championship to be held in Zambia from February 26 to March 12 next year.

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