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Confusion stalks Zifa as coach disowns 3 national team squads

by Staff reporter
24 Jun 2024 at 08:42hrs | Views
Warriors interim coach Jairosi Tapera has distanced himself from the three different national team squads announced by ZIFA for this week's Cosafa Cup in South Africa, highlighting ongoing controversy in team selection.

ZIFA announced a "revised squad" yesterday afternoon, just days after another squad was released at midnight on Friday. This followed an initial Cosafa squad announcement earlier this month, which ZIFA has inexplicably altered twice.

Tapera, who was also not consulted for the squad selections for the recent World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Lesotho, disowned the announced squads. He stated he had no input in the selections and emphasized that the team he will take to South Africa will be his own, which will be announced when they go into camp.

ZIFA, currently managed by a FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, has been accused of being influenced by cartels and dubious football agents affecting player selection. Tapera declined to comment on ZIFA's actions, focusing instead on his plans.

He expressed a desire to include foreign-based players, particularly from England, but most were unavailable due to pre-season commitments with their clubs. However, Brentford goalkeeper Marley Tavaziva, Huddersfield's Shane Maroodza, and Sheffield United's Joey Phuthi confirmed their participation.

Tapera's squad for the Cosafa tournament is predominantly composed of Under-23 players, with an average age of 23, and includes a few senior players to stabilize the team. He called for patience from fans, stating that the primary goal is player development for future competitions, such as the CHAN tournament and the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Tapera emphasized the need for unity and constructive focus within Zimbabwean football, urging people to support the young squad. The Warriors' Cosafa squad is set to begin camp today in Harare before departing for South Africa tomorrow. Zimbabwe, placed in Group B, will face Zambia, Kenya, and Comoros, with their first game against Comoros on Thursday.

Source - newsday
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