AFTER weeks of postponing, the bungling Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has finally set Thursday October 27 as the camping date for the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AFWCON) -bound Mighty Warriors, giving them three weeks of preparations for the continental football showpiece.
The Africa Women Championships will be played in Cameroon from November 19 to December 4.
Zifa continues to treat the women national football team as second rate athletes despite the fact that they made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean team to qualify for the Olympics at the Rio Games recently.
Shoddy preparations also saw the Mighty Warriors perform dismally at the Rio Olympics, losing 6-1, 3-1 and 6-1 to Germany, Canada and Australia respectively, crushing out in the group stages.
This time they will train for two weeks for yet another big stage in which they have been pitted against African powerhouses Cameroon, South Africa and Egypt in Group A.
“The Mighty Warriors team will go into camp on Thursday [this week] to start preparation for the Africa Women Championships. We will announce the team that has been called for camp by the coaches on Monday [tomorrow],” Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela told Standardsport.
While financial constraints have delayed the start of preparations, Zifa has done little to fundraise for the ladies’ AFWCON preparations since they came back from the Olympics in August, opting instead to remain mum.
Only last week, the government, through the Sport and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane had to come up with a novel resource mobilisation idea for the team, setting up a steering committee made up of individuals from local corporates.
The team is expected to arrive in Yaoundé on November 12.
Zimbabwe play South Africa on November 19 before engaging Egypt on November 23 and will complete their group matches against Cameroon two days later, with the top two teams proceeding to the semi-finals.