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Problems for Warriors ahead of AFCON finals

With just over a month before the AFCON 2021 finals roar into life, problems continue to mount for the Zimbabwe Warriors.

The 33rd edition of the continental extravaganza starts on the 9th of January in Cameroon and Zimbabwe are in Group B, together with Senegal, Malawi and Guinea.

However, the suspension of the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA board by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), has put preparations for the spectacle into disarray.

For starters, the team is not even guaranteed that it will take part in the finals, as there is a possibility of them being banned from it.

FIFA does not allow government interference in football administration, making it likely that the world football governing body might sanction Zimbabwe due to the move made by the SRC.

If they are to take part, the absence of a ZIFA board in charge means no coach can be appointed to oversee the AFCON finals.

Interim coach Norman Mapeza’s three month contract expired, meaning as it stands, the national team has no coach.

Team Manager Wellington Mpandare has up to December 15 to submit to CAF, the final 23 players to do battle for Zimbabwe in Cameroon hence with no coach in charge, its a tricky situation for the soft-spoken former Gunners official.

The Warriors should troop into camp on December 15, but invitation letters to clubs ought to have been sent two week before and a delay means the teams will have some sort of right to withhold players from taking part in the continental showpiece.

What is complicating things further is that the SRC is not in any hurry to sort things out at 53 Livingstone Avenue- the sports regulatory body is even okay with the team not participating at the finals.

Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa boldly-stated that a ban from AFCON in necessary and that ‘genuine football lovers’ will understand.


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