ZIMBABWE senior women football team coach Sithethelwe ‘Kwinji 15’ Sibanda has opened up on the days preceding their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Zambia saying the national team assembled at bus deport like a team of “boozers” before embarking on a strenuous road trip to Lusaka.
The Mighty Warriors had boycotted camp demanding payment of allowances for participating in the 2019 COSAFA Cup.
An angry Sibanda told media after the match that she did not blame the players for falling by the wayside at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka “but our country is the biggest enemy for not according the girls enough time.”
She let loose on the Zimbabwe Football Association following the Mighty Warriors humiliating defeat that now leaves them with a mountain to climb in the second leg of the 2020 Olympics qualifier.
“We are our own worst enemy. Football doesn’t lie, if you don’t prepare well, you don’t do well. We just met at the bus terminus without even training that’s why we were forced to make substitutions in the first half because the girls had fatigue after travelling by road,” said Sibanda.
Zambia’s Copper Queens thumped Zimbabwe 5-0 on Wednesday in their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games second round first leg qualifying match.
The Zambian side was on song through a hat-trick by striker Grace Chanda plus a goal each from the Kazakhstan-based attacking duo of Rachel Kundanandji and Misozi Zulu.
Before the first leg loss, the Mighty Warriors did not have time for preparations as they only met on Tuesday before departure to Zambia by road.
The former Zimbabwe women football team player insisted the result was not a reflection of the team’s potential.
“We feel let down because the result is not a true reflection of our capabilities. On a given day with good preparations, we should have gotten a positive result. We are putting a brave face coming into the return leg although it’s going to be difficult,” Sibanda said.
She spoke as the Mighty Warriors have been getting raw treatment from the successive Zifa executives.
The journey to Lusaka by bus comes as ZIFA say national teams will continue to travel by road “when and where the trip does not affect team performance” as part of austerity measures being implemented by the troubled association.