The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) have confirmed the plans to play the Harambee Stars of Kenya, in an international friendly, as part of preparations for the CHAN finals next year.

The competition, which is reserved only for locally-based players, will be staged in Cameroon from January 16 to February 7. Zimbabwe are in Group A and will play the hosts in the opening game before facing Burkina Faso and Mali.

As part of the preparations, the association has been working on arranging friendlies for the locally-based national team before the CHAN tournament.

Speaking to the Herald, ZIFA president Felton Kamambo said: “In terms of CHAN preparations, we are running around, as an association, to get some associations to engage in friendlies.

“As of now, we have been in touch with Kenya, and we are most likely to play them before we head to Cameroon.

“We have agreed, in principle, to play Kenya in a friendly. We are also continuing to engage other associations to book friendly matches so that we give our coach a perfect opportunity to prepare his CHAN squad.”

Kamambo also revealed the CHAN squad is expected in camp early next month to give coach Zdravko Logarusic a bit of time with the players.

“We are aiming to have an early camp for the team going to the CHAN tournament. Very soon the coach will be announcing the provisional squad to do duty in Cameroon next year.

“The team is expected to go into an early camp, to give the coach time to prepare and assess his arsenal. The team will only break for the festive holidays.

“We are determined to provide the coach with enough support for him to perform his duties in an efficient manner,” he added.