ZIMBABWE will endure the embarrassment of playing their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group B opener against Algeria in an unbranded kit after Singapore-based Sportswear Company Mafro Sports failed to deliver their apparel in Franceville on time.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Warriors, who are competing in their first Afcon tournament since 2006, were expected to use the Mafro apparel after Zifa terminated its deal with Spanish sports clothing manufacturer Joma last month.
Mafro Sports had come to Zifa’s rescue at the 11th hour after other brands had indicated they would not be able to provide a kit in time for the tournament.
And yesterday the concerns on whether the Warriors would be adequately kitted for the continental showcase were justified.
Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who is Zimbabwe’s head of delegation in Gabon confirmed in an interview with Standardsport that the Mafro Sports kit, the Warriors were expected to use was yet to arrive in Franceville last night.
“Unfortunately, due to logistical problems the Mafro kit has not arrived on time, but we’ve got an equally good kit which we presented to the officials here and we’ve been given the greenlight to use it. It hasn’t affected our preparations at all and the boys are raring to go,” Sibanda said.
Doubts surrounding the Mafro Sport kit had been raised after Warriors continued to use the Joma kits and equipment for their preparations.
The latest kit fiasco comes after another embarrassing episode for the local football governing body when the Mighty Warriors’ kit for last year’s Rio Olympic Games came under heavy criticism.
The poor kit used by the Mighty Warriors had reportedly been acquired in Johannesburg, South Africa by Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.