Zifa technical adviser Klaus-Dieter Pagels is breathing fire, demanding explanation for the absence of the national Under-20 men’s football team who were supposed to accompany the Mighty Warriors for the Germany training camp.
He said if the Young Warriors team fails to make the trip by today, the long-standing sporting relationship between Zimbabwe and Germany would be over.
“I’m so happy that the Zimbabwe national women team is here, but very disappointed that the Under-20 boys’ team is not here,” said Pagels.
“I had prepared a lot of things for the team, I had organised five friendly matches with clubs here and those clubs have been preparing for this for the past three weeks. I can’t go back to them and say the team is no longer coming when Zifa had assured me that everything was in place and the team would definitely come.
“I just hope, wish and expect that the boys’ team will be here by Tuesday (today) because their first friendly match is on Wednesday (tomorrow).”
“If they don’t come I have to pay half of the expenses that were incurred in the preparations for this camp, and here I’m talking about ₧15 000 to ₧20 000, that will be a very big problem for me. If they don’t come, I promise I won’t organise such a training camp or any other sporting activities with Zimbabwe in future, never,” fumed Pagels.
No immediate comment from Zifa was available yesterday as chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze was not reachable. But on Friday night, Mashingaidze had advised, through a Press release, that financial constraints had stopped the Young Warriors from making the trip.
Board member for development Methembe Ndlovu referred questions back to Mashingaidze, saying he was not involved in the organisation of the trip.
Meanwhile, the national women football team, the Mighty Warriors, arrived in Germany on Saturday for a two-week training camp as they begin their preparations for the 10th edition of the All-Africa Games to be held in Maputo, Mozambique, this September.
During the training camp, the team will play four friendly matches against teams from the women top-flight Bundesliga starting today when they face TV Eintracht Immenbeck before playing SV Ahlerstedt on Thursday.
Two days later, the team will play a German student national side and will wrap up their Germany tour with a match against Hamburger SV Bundesliga on Wednesday next week.
The Mighty Warriors, who are riding high after conquering the whole Southern Africa by winning the Cosafa Women Championships, will also have a lifetime opportunity to watch the best of European men’s soccer.
The team has been invited to attend a pre-season friendly match between Spanish giants Valencia and Germany’s Hamburg SV on Tuesday next week at the Imtech Hamburg Stadium.
The Rosemary Mugadza-coached team has also been allowed to watch the two European giants’ training sessions before the match.
The 30-member delegation of 24 players and six officials left Harare International Airport on Friday morning via South Africa before connecting to Frankfurt and then Hamburg.
They are staying at the majestic Verein fur Leibesubungen Sports Club in the city of Stade, an hour’s drive from Hamburg.
“We are very happy with the treatment from our hosts; the training equipment here is top class,” said Mugadza.
“There is a gym, an indoor training ground, a pool and the outside pitch is in good condition, everything you may think of is here. This is what you need to prepare for a big tournament like the All-Africa Games and I hope we will make the best use of these facilities,” added the former Mighty Warriors captain.
The team was given a whole day’s rest when they arrived on Saturday, but got down to serious business on Sunday with a 6am jog that was followed by a full training session at 8 o’clock and later in the afternoon.