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Zifa in Cecafa quandary


Zifa could fail to send the Warriors to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania next week as the Premier Soccer League ends on November 27 — two days after the tournament starts.

While the official league programme ends this Sunday, the Mbada Diamonds Cup final between Dynamos and Motor Action takes place a week later.

That is not the only issue complicating Zimbabwe’s participation in the tournament they last had a dance with 2009 after winning the Cosafa Senior Challenge.

The organisers sent the Warriors an invite to participate and while Zifa were still deliberating, another invite went out to Namibia, who responded positively without blinking an eye.

Malawi had originally pulled out, but the government decided to fund the trip even at short notice, leaving Zimbabwe clutching at straws.

Another opportunity for Zimbabwe arose when Eritrea pulled out due to financial reasons, but still Zifa had not responded.

And Namibia jumped at the chance to prepare their team for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 World Cup qualifiers, leaving the Warriors in a quandary.

The only solace for the Warriors will be a trip to Gaborone in January and a return leg against the Zebras at Barbourfields before their trip to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Said Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday: “They wanted us to be in Tanzania on November 25, but our FA Cup (Mbada Diamonds Cup final) is on November 27. We could have flown there a day later, but if they decided to invite Namibia it’s in their powers.”

He said they were still talking to the organisers. The Warriors are not the only team in a quandary — the Harambee Stars are also uncertain on when they will travel to Dar es Salaam due to the busy end of the Premier League.

Cecafa has written to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) asking that Harambee Stars arrive in Dar es Salaam by November 23.

FKF acting chief executive Lordvick Aduda however said they were talking to Cecafa to allow them to arrive after the weekend since the league ends on November 26.

“We received a letter from Cecafa that requires the team to arrive from 23rd November, but with the league ending on the 26th November we are trying to harmonise with both Cecafa and KPL to see if we can come to a compromise.”

“We have requested Cecafa to allow us to arrive just two days before our game and also talking to KPL to bring the matches forward,” Aduda told

On his part KPL chief executive officer Jack Oguda said: “We have to follow the league schedule as it is, but teams can also sacrifice and release their players who are in the Harambee Stars squad. However, all that will depend on individual teams.”

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