Warriors in tough Afcon draw

The Warriors found themselves in a tough Group as a consequence of their lowly ranking of 38 which condemned them to pot four of the draw.

THE Warriors have a tough route to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco after they drew Cameroon, Namibia and Kenya in Group J. Twelve Groups of four teams were pooled and the top two after home and away clashes from each will qualify for the finals.

The Warriors found themselves in a tough Group as a consequence of their lowly ranking of 38 which condemned them to pot four of the draw. Pot 4 contained the lowest seeds while Pot 1 to 3 had the top 36 nations based on the latest rankings established in June. In June Zimbabwe lost their Fifa World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Lesotho which pushed them out of the top 36. They face continental giants Cameroon, whom they have a rich history of clashes with, Namibia as well as bogey side Kenya.

Matches will start in September and the Warriors will have to host their home matches in other countries as there is no Caf approved stadium in the country. The government is reluctant to provide funds towards speeding up of renovations at the National Sports Stadium so that national teams can play home matches in the country.

Meanwhile Jairos Tapera who was employed as an interim coach by Zifa could get another go with the team after the Lincoln Mutasa led Zifa normalisation committee had their tenure extended by Fifa yesterday It was under Mutasa's watch that Zimbabwe lost to Lesotho (2-0) and 3-1 against South Africa/ They mustered two wins at the regional Cosafa tournament but were eliminated in the Group stage after losing to Kenya 2-0. But Tapera’s advocates are back at the helm and he could be retained for the Afcon qualifiers even though football fans have their doubts over his capabilities. Yesterday world football governing body Fifa extended the Zifa normalisation committee's tenure by another six months.

The Mutasa led body's tenure expired at the end of last month and there was a lot of speculation over their continued stay in office. Fifa members are in the country and after some meetings they decided to extend the committee's tenure but Cynthia Malaba and Sikhumbuzo Ndebele were not invited back.

Only Mutasa, Rosemary Mugadza and Nyasha Sanyamandwe will carry on with establishing a road map for Zifa executive committee elections, which should be done by December or January. It will only be established after another meeting with the Sports and Recreation Commission whether Fifa replace Ndebele and Malaba with some suggesting Mutasa, Mugadza and Sanyamandwe can carry through the task.

The Zifa normalisation committee has had its fair share of problems over the last few months it was Ndebele and Malaba who were who were identified as the source of some of the problems.

Full 2025 Afcon qualifier draw

Group A: Tunisia, Madagascar, Comoros, Gambia.

Group B: Morocco, Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Lesotho.

Group C: Egypt, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Botswana.

Group D: Nigeria, Benin, Libya, Rwanda.

Group E: Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Liberia.

Group F: Ghana, Angola, Sudan, Niger.

Group G: Ivory Coast, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Chad.

Group H: DRC, Guinea, Tanzania, Ethiopia.

Group I: Mali, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Eswatini.

Group J: Cameroon, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe:

Group K: South Africa, Uganda, Congo, South Sudan.

Group L: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Burundi.

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