WARRIORS’ preparations for the African Nations Cup soccer finals in Tunisia next year, which have so far been ill-fated, are shrouded in doubt and confusion, IndependentSport can reveal.
Sunday Marimo, the Warriors’ head coach on Wednesday admitted that the current set-up on the local scene and the composition of the Warriors have disrupted his plans.
It was also established by this paper yesterday that the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) doesn’t have a clear plan for Warriors’ preparations.
The Warriors’ mentor cast fears over the danger of going to Tunisia in February without having an opportunity to prepare the team together – blending the locally-based players and the foreign-based. As such, Marimo said, he would only compile the final list of the Tunisia squad just before the continental rendezvous.
“I really don’t know,” retorted Marimo with a deep sense of regret. “What do you mean by the final squad? I don’t understand at all. Look, the local league is yet to be finished and you can’t think of any preparations now.
“I will pick the final 22 players when the time comes. I don’t know my final squad now. All I can arrange now are friendly matches which only locally-based players can play. There is nothing I can do. Our season is different from those in other countries as well as Europe.”
Sources at Zifa said the mother body didn’t have any clear plan for Warriors’ preparations adding that the beleaguered association was hoping that the Warriors’ Trust would oversee the issue.
“There isn’t any clear plan except the touted tour of Europe, which we understand has been cancelled,” said a senior source at Zifa. “It appears that the Zifa board has taken a back seat since the Warriors Trust came into existence.”
The Warriors tour of Europe was cancelled after Marimo is understood to have decided that the winter in the Northern Hemisphere wouldn’t be proper for preparations.
Most nations taking part in next year’s finals have already started preparations and announced final squads.