ZIFA told to abandon Warriors’ trip to Malawi

The Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) has appealed to the authorities to stop the national team from travelling to Malawi for a friendly match on Sunday.

The Warriors are scheduled to leave the country this afternoon by road on the backdrop of poor preparations which saw several foreign-based players pulling out in the first selection called.

The mass withdrawal left coach Zdravko Logarusic with no choice but to call the stars from local clubs to fill the squad.

However, FUZ is not happy with the ill-timed arrangements and inadequate preparedness since the move will put the players at high risk of health and injury scares.

“As the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe we are greatly concerned about the readiness and preparedness of the players in terms of the friendly match scheduled for Malawi,” the Union said in a statement.

“According to the Return Protocols in normal football settings, players need a full pre-season training program which is about 6-8 weeks and for those whose leagues have resumed, at least three weeks of high-intensity group training is required before resuming play so that players retain optimally specific endurance, speed, strength and coordination.”

The locally-based players drafted in the second selection have not been active since April when the lockdown started.

On the arrangement to travel by road, FUZ also blasted Zifa and urged the association to call off the game since it will further take a toll on the players.

“The low levels of preparedness by the association in relation to this match leaves our players at high risk of injuries, fatigue and other career-threatening problems.

“As FUZ we wish to appeal to the authorities to cancel this game for the goodness of our players and find another solution which does not leave our members susceptible to health problems,” the statement concludes.