Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo has criticised his employers Zifa for prioritising financial rewards at the expense of results ahead of the team’s collision with Angola in an Afcon 2013 first leg final qualifier at Rufaro stadium on Sunday.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
Penniless Zifa has pegged the cheapest ticket at $10 for the important match throwing Gumbo’s full house hope into disarray.
Gumbo sought to make good use of the home advantage and he was looking to make good use of the atmosphere to help drive his team to a comfortable lead to take to Luanda, yet Zifa saw this as a good opportunity to make a killing.
“To be honest with you I don’t like the gate charges, it is just too much for many people we will not fill up the stadium, yet we should have made sure that we make life difficult for our opponents with a noisy crowd,” said Gumbo. “It looks like the people at Zifa are prioritising financial rewards at the expense of a comfortable win. The fans would have come in handy as our 12th man, I know very well that it would have worked in our favour but I will have to talk to Zifa when the responsible authorities come back.”
The Zifa top hierarchy which includes the president Cuthbert Dube and chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze, were expected back in the country late yesterday from Seychelles where they were attending a Caf congress.
In addition to gate charge issues Gumbo insinuated further problems at the association that led to the late arrival of most foreign based players including those from South Africa, an hour and half’s flight to Harare.
All the players called into camp save for goalkeeper and captain Tapuwa Kapini, midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha and Knowldege Musona were at the morning’s training session.
While it was clear Kapini and Nengomasha would not make it, there was still hope that Musona would fly in yet the technical team is not aware about his whereabouts.
“The late arrival of players is an issue to do with Zifa again, and it’s something that we have to talk about, the problem is there is nobody around so I can only wait and will comment after discussions with the relevant authorities.”
The former Warriors midfielder, who was turning down interview requests after also gaging the players until yesterday, was clearly not happy with the preparations but remains optimistic that a positive result can still be achieved under the circumstances.
“I have been talking to the players, and I told them to do their best for their nation and forget about all other problems. We can still sort out our problems but the important thing is the result on Sunday. The players are hungry and raring to go; I expect them to deliver on Sunday.”
But Gumbo is well aware that the task at hand will need something special, if the Warriors are to finish this match in comfort zone.
“One thing for sure is that this is a tricky tie, they will come here to frustrate us and seek a clean sheet. They will obviously be doing a lot of work with their midfielders and defenders, but for us as you have been seeing we have been working on attacking. We need to be sharp upfront; we will have to get some goals if the dream is to stay alive. The fans can expect to watch an attacking game from us while the opponents are likely to try and slow things down.”
Of the players that are in camp, midfielder-turned defender Esrom Nyandoro, striker Takesure Chinyama and goalkeeper Marlon Jani spent most of the time yesterday on the treatment table.
Jani is unlikely to make it leaving rookie George Chigova and Highlanders number one Ariel Sibanda fighting it out for a starting berth.
Dynamos’ attacker Denver Mukamba has hit a rich vein of form of late and if thrust in on Sunday he could yet be the joker in the pack having been confined to shining the bench in recent Warriors matches.
The returning Quincy Antipas who had earlier closed a lid on his Warriors career frustrated by lack of opportunities could also be handed a start while Chiyama remains a favourite for the target man’s position despite his perennials knee problems.
Cape Town Ajax attacker Khama Billiat will prove difficult to leave out considering what he has done for the team in the last year.