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Zifa bombshell

by Staff reporter
15 Aug 2019 at 07:31hrs | Views
ALLEGED ring leaders of a player revolt that rocked the Warriors camp before and during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt will not be selected for future national team assignments as the inquest into the failed Afcon campaign took yet another rough twist yesterday.

Zimbabwe crashed out of this year's tournament in embarrassing fashion after managing just one point and one goal in their group stage matches.

Following the chaotic Afcon campaign in which Zifa alleged that a third force was behind the team's failure to go beyond the first round, the association yesterday announced that they had disbanded the team that took part in the tournament.

This comes barely a month after Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga was pressurised into stepping down, with the association set to announce a new senior national football coach in coming the weeks.

Zifa executive committee members met on Friday last week and made a number of resolutions before dropping the bombshell in a statement yesterday.

"The entire national men's team was with immediate effect disbanded following wide consultations with stakeholders. The decision to disband the entire national team from the technical team to the players was arrived at after going through the technical reports which the association received and the recommendations from the Zifa technical and development committee," Zifa said in a statement.

"The establishment of the new national team set up was to be informed by the association's national teams policy, code of conduct and philosophy with all future call ups based on commitment, technical and tactical aptitude, patriotism and above all discipline. Players and technical personnel with a questionable commitment to national duty shall not be considered for any selection in the future. However, the new technical set up, based on their own discretion, have a right to select players who were in the previous team."

While Zifa said they will allow the incoming new Warriors coach to recall players who were in the previous team, the future of most of the players who participated in the doomed Afcon campaign now look uncertain.

Sources yesterday told NewsDaySport that a number of "prominent and senior figures" from the Warriors squad that participated at the Afcon have been blacklisted and will not be selected for future assignments for their alleged role in the player revolts that rocked the team in Egypt.

Chaos reigned supreme in the Warriors camp as players and the association clashed over appearance fees and winning bonuses, resulting in the squad threatening to boycott the tournament's curtain raiser against Egypt.

The Warriors also threatened not to fulfil their final group game against the Democratic Republic of Congo for similar reasons, and Zifa believes it was the work of some people who worked with a group of players to destabilise the camp.

The local football mother body subsequently fired board member Chamu Chiwanza and tried unsuccessfully to recall former Zifa boss Phillip Chiyangwa from his role as Cosafa president, accusing them of instigating the players' strike.

"Those were some of the guys who were pulling the strings and now Zifa are going for the players they were working in cahoots with to destabilise camp and fix matches. Some of the players are prominent and very senior. Zifa has the list of those players who they will handover to the new coach so that they cannot be called for future Warriors assignments," a source said. The latest development is likely to throw into disarray the Warriors' preparations for the World Cup and Afcon qualifiers set to start in two weeks' time.

Zimbabwe begin their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign with a two-legged clash against Somalia in a preliminary round between September 2 and 10, with the Warriors playing away first.

They then begin their 2021 Afcon qualification bid in November with a clash against Botswana. Zimbabwe are in a tough Group H for the Afcon qualifiers, which also consists of champions Algeria and Zambia, with the top two teams in the group qualifying for the Afcon finals in Cameroon.

"The association shall work round the clock to ensure that the national team's assignments for the year and in future are serviced. We are mindful of the resource constraints, but we shall spare no efforts to mobilise resources for all our teams. We shall, however, implement austerity measures so as to sustain the heavy competitions schedule – while not ignoring developmental thrust at the grassroots," Zifa said.

Meanwhile, Zifa yesterday released an abridged income and expenditure statement for the Warriors' participation at this year's Cosafa and Afcon tournament which shows that the association made a loss of US$10 120 and $693 163.

Source - newsday