HomeSportSoccerZifa court Malawi for Warriors friendly

Zifa court Malawi for Warriors friendly


Zifa were trying to court Malawi for an international football friendly match against the Warriors on August 10 as preparations for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia at home got underway.

South Africa though, remained on the radar after they were turned down by Nigeria on Tuesday.

Nigeria opted to play Ghana on August 9. The other candidate was Zambia who, like Zimbabwe and South Africa, were chasing a spot in the 2012 Afcon finals in West Africa and needed all the necessary preparation for the next games on the weekend of September 3-5.

The Warriors failed to get a team before the last qualifier against Mali at home on June 5, although they eventually won the match 2-1, the national association was working around the clock to ensure coach Norman Mapeza got a preparatory match.

August 10 is an international friendly match day set by Fifa.

Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said they were expecting to get a “positive responses” by Wednesday.

“Malawi want to come to Harare, but we also have South Africa and Zambia whom we have been talking to and I think we can get some responses tomorrow (Wednesday).

“SA is looking at confirming with their coach (Pitso Mosimane) first. We have said the coach (Norman Mapeza) should give us his programme so that we can get things moving for August 10 and perhaps other options after that. He might need to travel to other countries to monitor the fitness levels of players since their seasons will be starting.”

The Warriors are placed third in Group A with five points after a win, two draws and a loss. They are two points behind leaders Cape Verde Islands, whom they meet in the penultimate match in October.

Before Cape Verde, the Warriors would have to negotiate their way past Liberia at Rufaro on September 4 by getting all three points.

Malawi would be suitable opposition for the Warriors as they also need to beat Tunisia to take up the second qualifying spot behind Botswana from Group K.

Zambia are also close to qualification and face Comoros away in September while SA, after their draw away to Egypt early this month, travel to Niger for a rather tricky outing.

SA suffered a setback on Tuesday after Nigeria’s top players turned down a proposal to fly there just days before the start of the European season.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials were considering offers from both countries for a friendly game during that Fifa window, but were compelled to opt for the Ghana friendly after consultation with players and the coach.

“The players were not comfortable with making the long trip from Europe to the south of Africa and back just days before the start of a new season,” a top NFF official said.

“It is easier for them to play in Europe, and then return to their clubs. We had to listen to them so it is just a matter of concluding the arrangements with Ghana.”

SA are also considering Burkina Faso for the August friendly after being snubbed by Nigeria.

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