The Young Warriors are no longer coming to Germany, NewsDay Sport can confirm.
This was after Zifa failed to raise funds for tickets for the trip which they were supposed to undertake with the Mighty Warriors, who have already played two friendly matches.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said yesterday: “We would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we go ahead with the trip when we do not have the resources. If we had other sponsors, the boys would had gone, but unfortunately we don’t.”
“We have the match against Zambia coming, preparations for the Liberia match, the away match to Cape Verde and the impending World Cup qualifiers; it really could have been too much.”
Zifa’s German technical director Klaus-Dieter Pagels had organised five friendly matches for the team and had warned that failure to send the team would jeopardise relations between the two nations.
He said he would b required to pay between ₣15 000 and ₣20 000 as compensation to the teams that had been preparing for the matches against the Young Warriors. “I’m very disappointed that the Under-20 team is no longer coming when Zifa had assured me that the team will be here today (yesterday),” said the visibly angry Pagels.
“It’s not only about the financial situation I have to sort out here, but also the relations with all the clubs who have been preparing for these friendly matches. They are not happy with the situation because they had prepared well and expected to play a national team from Zimbabwe. Others had kept their players from going to holidays preparing for these games and going back to them and saying the games have been cancelled is very bad. It will be difficult in future to convince these clubs because they have lost trust in Zimbabwean teams,” said Pagels.
He added: “I want a meeting with Zifa president Cuthbert Dube about all the things that have happened here and to map the way forward, but the situation is very bad at the moment. A lot of sponsors had come forward and offered food and other equipment for 80 people, but now we have only 40. What are we going to do with the rest of food for instance, throw it away?”
It has since emerged that Zifa had also tried to secure funding from the government through the Sports and Recreation Commission at the last minute, but that failed.
The trip itself had been enmeshed in problems after team manager Eddie Chivero was dropped from the travelling party to include player agent Edzai Kasinauyo.