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Zifa grapples with Afcon bill

by Staff reporter
29 Oct 2020 at 05:57hrs | Views
ZIFA is exploring ways to reduce the ballooning costs related to Warriors' Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) back-to-back qualifying matches against Algeria which could gobble well over US$200 000.

COVID-19 restrictions have seen the costs related to the trip to Algiers soar, particularly with the complications emanating from the banning of commercial flights into Algeria.

The only way Zifa can fly the Warriors to Algiers will be via a charter plane whose cost is likely to be around US$150 000.

Zifa has received a quotation of US$152 000 for a 40-sweater charter flight to Algiers.

The Warriors face the African champions in back-to-back clashes of the 2021 Afcon qualifiers on November 12.

They travel to Algeria early next month before hosting their opponents at the National Sports Stadium four days later.

The unavailability of direct flights to Algiers has complicated things, leaving the football federation with the option of chartering a plane to Algiers.

Zifa is seeking a cheaper option of chartering a bigger plane, hoping that some Zimbabwean students who are stuck in Algeria may take the opportunity of the availability of the chartered plane to return home.

The local soccer-controlling body is hoping other stakeholders such as government and parents of about 20 students who are in Algeria will chip in to subsidise the trip.

They are also weighing the option of going via Tunisia where they would pick up some foreign-based players which again is an extra cost due to issues such as parking fees.

Zifa acting vice-president Phillemon Machana, however, said they would find a way to make the trip successful notwithstanding the challenges.

"It's a very difficult situation because there are no flights to Algeria. The option we have is to charter a plane, but then again it is an expensive route because the cheapest quotation for a 40-seater plane is US$152 000," he said. "So we are exploring options of a bigger plane as there are about 20 students who are in Algeria right now and want to come home. So we hope that we can have partners like government and parents of those children on board to help subsidise the trip. It's really difficult, but we have an obligation to fulfil the fixture and we have to find a way and make it happen," Machana said.

The outbreak of coronavirus, which has decimated all facets of life, including sport has complicated international travel.

Two weeks ago, Zifa was forced to charter a plane to fly the team to Blantyre for an international friendly against Malawi.

Algeria lead Group H with six points following a massive victory over Zambia (5-0) and Botswana (0-1) back in November last year.

The Warriors are in second place with four points from a stunning 1-2 away victory to Zambia and a nil-all draw at home against the Zebras of Botswana.

Botswana are third with a single point while Zambia anchor the group as they are yet to get on the score board.

Over and above the trip, Zifa has to pay for air tickets for foreign-based players for the two matches, as well as allowances while they also need to pay for accommodation and other ancillary costs ahead of the home match.

They also need to foot bills related to hosting Algeria.



Source - newsday

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