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Warriors make rich pickings, US$20,000 each

by Staff reporter
21 Jan 2022 at 05:39hrs | Views
The Warriors started trooping back into the country yesterday from their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) expedition with each of them getting about US$20 000 richer and expecting more despite public anger over the team's poor showing at the showcase.

A group of about seven players together with coaches Mandla Mpofu and Energy Murambadoro arrived in the country yesterday, while the rest of the group is expected today.

The United Kingdom-based players headed straight to their bases.

Zimbabwe bowed out of the competition after they suffered defeats in their first two matches against Senegal and Malawi to whom they lost 1-0 and 2-1, respectively.

It is the result against Malawi that has proved to be a bitter pill to swallow for fans, considering that over the years Zimbabwe has dominated their southern African counterparts.

The Warriors were expected to win against Malawi to at least make it to the knockout stages, but it was the group's underdog, Malawi, which tagged along with Senegal and Guinea to the last 16.

Zimbabwe finished with three points at the bottom of the table while Malawi (four points), finished third behind Guinea who had the same number of points.

Despite scoring a single goal in their three matches, Senegal finished at the summit with five points.

While some fans have ridiculed the Warriors for losing to Malawi, some have pointed out that Malawi were a better team.

Zimbabwe saved their best for last when they defeated Guinea 2-1, a result that triggered a winning bonus for the team.

With all allowances and bonuses having been tallied, no player will return home with less than US$20 000.

More will be coming their way once the Confederation of African Football (Caf) disburses the prize money for the tournament.

With Zimbabwe having bowed out in the first vetting stage, Zifa will receive US$550 000, of which 40% will be paid to the players as per the agreement between the association and the contingent that was in Cameroon.

The whole group of players, technical team and support staff that was in Cameroon will share the
US$220 000 and they will get an average of US$5 000.

FBC Bank has already said it will honour its pledge to pay each player US$1 000 for their win over Guinea.

Government provided about US$800 000 as well as $2 million which will be paid to the players for their camp in Zimbabwe prior to the tournament.

Each player will get an equivalent of $150 per day in Zimbabwe dollars for the duration of the camp before travelling.

The players were in high spirits at the tournament and expected to go beyond the group stages until they lost to Malawi.

They would have harvested more had they managed to go further as they would have been guaranteed at least one more game and more days in Cameroon.

With the tournament coming to an end for Zimbabwe, the players return to their clubs hoping to impress the coaches with the 2023 Afcon qualifiers starting this March.

The technical team led by Norman Mapeza will be following boardroom fights at Zifa with keen interest as they wait to hear if they will be allowed to continue presiding over the team.

Mapeza has said that he drew a lot of lessons from his first experience as a coach at the Africa Cup of Nations finals after he saw his team bow out despite a win against Guinea in a Group B clash on Tuesday.

The former Warriors captain presided over Zimbabwe's first win at the tournament since 2006, but the Warriors head home after defeats to Malawi and Senegal condemned them to a basement finish.

"It was a good game of football I think the most difficult game (against Guinea) we have played in this tournament, if you look at our games against Senegal and Malawi," Mapeza reflected.

"Against Malawi we played so well, we had so many opportunities. Unfortunately, we ended up on the losing side, but today, the boys worked so hard and I am proud of them. We had our moments especially in the first half where we controlled the game. After we conceded the goal we managed to stay disciplined and I am happy for the boys."

"So many lessons learnt, in the first game we conceded in the last 20 seconds and looking at the Malawi game we had so many opportunities, but we got punished because of two mistakes, so many lessons learnt in this tournament. After losing the two games, everybody was disappointed we were all dejected, I feel we should have got something from those two games. So coming into this game, we had our pride at stake and that is why you saw those guys celebrating. For some of those boys it's their first time to be here so for them it's a massive achievement."

He revealed that in the last game, Musona had asked to sit out as he was not feeling well, but had to be thrust in after a change of strategy.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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