No road trip nightmare: Warriors’ relief as ZIFA charters flight

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Zimbabwe national football team will not endure the torture of a nine-hour road trip to Blantyre following interventions by the Zimbabwe Football Association which will now see the team travel aboard a chartered flight on Saturday.

The troubled team face Malawi in an international friendly on Sunday in what will be a dry-run ahead of the crucial back-to-back AFCON qualifiers against Algeria next month.

However, the chaotic preparations preceding the friendly match have left many Warriors fans bemused while one local coach has called it a joke.  

Blunt FC Platinum coach Pieter de Jongh hit out at the administration of football in the country on Tuesday after nine local based footballers who last tested competitive action seven months ago were named in the Warriors’ squad to face Malawi.

A number of Warriors’ foreign-based professionals excused themselves from selection for the international friendly leaving Warriors’ coach Zdravko Logarušic with a selection headache.

A top ZIFA official, however, believes, away from the off-field drama the friendly match is good news considering the several issues faced in getting a team to send to Malawi.

“Apart from a retrogressive government, covid-19 alone presents a lot of challenges for Football Associations. FIFA empowered clubs to withhold players in this window, a move which gave several clubs a reason to decline call ups,” an impeccable source said.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers

1. Talbert Shumba (Triangle United)

2. Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

Defenders

3. Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn)

4. Qadr Amin (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

5. Alec Mudimu (Sherriff Tiraspol)

6. Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Buildcon)

7. Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor)

8. MacClive Phiri (Sekhukhune United)

9. Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana FC)

Midfielders

10. Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa)

11. Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows)

12. Ishamel Wadi (Caps United)

13. Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)

14. Wellington Taderera (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

15. Phenias Bamusi (Caps United)

16. King Nadolo (Dynamos)

Strikers

17. Charlton Mashumba (Polokwane City)

18. Stanley Ngala (FC Platinum)

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