HomeSportZifa sideline Chiyangwa

Zifa sideline Chiyangwa

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has taken over the organisation of the proposed international friendly match between the Warriors and Ghana’s Black Stars in Harare.

Initial correspondence over the highly publicised and anticipated match was made without the involvement of Zifa with the game, which had been set for Harare this month, reportedly bankrolled by businessman Phillip Chiyangwa.
At their weekend board meeting in Harare, the Cuthbert Dube-led body decided to pursue the Ghana  issue and bring the World Cup quarter-finalists into the country on November 17.
Communication has already been made with the Ghana Football Association over the proposed game that will follow the Warriors’ second tie of the African Cup of Nations campaign.
Zimbabwe would have played a home match against Cape Verde Islands on October 10, following their opening match against Liberia away from home. Zimbabwe also have Mali in their group with the top team getting  automatic qualification. There will be two more places for the two best second place finishers from all the groups
“We have written to the Ghana Football Association proposing that we play an international friendly with them on November 17,” said Zifa CEO, Jonathan Mashingaidze.
“It is our hope that they will be able to engage us on this game so that we help prepare our team for the Cup of Nations qualifiers.We want our team to play a full strength Ghana side and we also want to have all our players available for this game.
“They(Ghana) have not yet responded to us. We only communicated with them but they also have to look at other offers. They did well at the World Cup and everyone wants to play them now.
“We read  in the papers that a game had been organised but we were not involved in the initial maneuvers to bring Ghana here, but if at all they had initially agreed then we have a good chance of getting that game.
The Warriors have plummeted in the Fifa world rankings to 113th while Ghana are ranked second in Africa and 29th in the world.
Zifa have found it tough to get friendly internationals with big teams because of the Warriors’ low ranking and the mother body is trying to improve the senior team’s performance.
The Warriors had a torturous campaign in the past edition of CAN and the 2010 World Cup where they failed to qualify under Brazilian coach Valinhos.
Indications are that Zifa will appoint a foreign coach as the board is not convinced local favourite and current caretaker coach, Norman Mapeza, is the right man for the job.
Mapeza, who will take the Warriors to Liberia, did himself little favour by leaving out the experienced trio of striker Benjani Mwaruwari, midfielders Tinashe Nengomasha of Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns captain Esrom Nyandoro.
A source said the feeling at Zifa was that  Mapeza had made an ill-advised decision to omit the trio from those that are making the Liberia trip.
“Chances are that he is not going to get that job,” the source said. “It is almost certainly going to be a foreign coach. Most guys in the board favour a foreign coach because they feel Mapeza still has to gain experience.
“It’s most likely that he (Mapeza) is going to be appointed assistant coach to a foreign coach so that he gains experience. They are trying to give him all the support they can but people are not happy about his decision to leave out Esrom and Tinashe.”
Mapeza seems aware that he is not going to get the job after he told the media last week that he didn’t care about the way Zifa were treating him over the coaching post.


Kevin Mapasure

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