Libya courts Warriors

ZIFA was yesterday making last-minute efforts to ensure activity in next week’s Fifa friendlies window by organising an international friendly match between the Warriors and Libya.

By Kevin Mapasure

Libya this week proposed to host the Warriors but Zifa wants the match played in Tunisia.

The match will form part of preparations for the locally-based senior national team’s participation in the African Nations Championships but coach Ian Gorowa is likely to pick a few foreign-based players for the match.

Zimbabwe had targeted countries in the southern African region for international friendlies before Libya proposed the match.

Yesterday Zifa and the Libyan Federation were engaged in discussions over the match but CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze said the mother body had already started making travel arrangements.

“We are waiting for further communication from the Libyan Federation,” said Mashingaidze. “The main issue has been the venue but we are already making travel arrangements.

“The coach has indicated that it would be a useful match and he might want to include a couple of European-based players who would fly straight to Tunisia.”

Zifa would prefer to have the match played at a venue outside Libya for security reasons.

Libya’s national side, dubbed the Mediterranean Knights, has graced the Afcon finals on three occasions, the latest being in South Africa last year.

But even if the match is confirmed Zimbabwe might fail tofield players plying their trade abroad because of late communication despite the proposed dates falling within the Fifa friendlies window.

Most countries play their matches between today and Tuesday before internationally-based players return to their bases.

Yesterday Gorowa said he was waiting for final confirmation from Zifa.

Gorowa has been calling for the use of Fifa friendly windows to help him asses players plying their trade abroad so the friendly would boost his preparations for next year’s Afcon qualifiers.

The Warriors have another match set for December 8 against Mozambique at Barbourfields stadium as they prepare for the Chan finals in January.

On their schedule is a month’s training camp in South Africa where they also hope to play against Gabon in another international friendly.

Gorowa wanted the team to play Malawi so he could have a look at locally-based players he feels deserve a chance.

The former Sundowns coach has been on the prowl for a holding midfielder to fill the void left by suspended Devon Chafa.

Chicken Inn’s Kuda Mahachi and Harare City’s Silas Songani are among the players who have been impressive on the local scene but have struggled for places in Gorowa’s team.

Mahachi however played in a Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique at Rufaro stadium in September and impressed.