Zifa, clubs race against deadlines

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Zifa is racing against time to enter the national Under-17 and Under-20 teams for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) youth championships for next year.

The deadline has been set for tomorrow.

Zifa communications manager Nicky Dhlamini said while all paperwork had been done, chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze was yet to sign the papers. He was not reachable for comment yesterday.

The two national teams did not participate in any Caf competition this year after the previous administration of Wellington Nyatanga decided against entering them citing lack of financial resources.

The Under-20 team only took part in the Cosafa Youth Championships in Botswana at the beginning of this month and, just like their senior counterparts who took part in the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge, returned home empty handed.

Zifa is planning a complete overhaul of the junior national teams which could see Mandla Mpofu losing his job as Under-20 coach while the Under-17 squad and its technical team is virtually non-existent.

Board member (competitions and development) Benedict Moyo said: “I am compiling all the information right now with regards to that as we want to revamp and review the structures across all national teams. We should make some announcements early into the New Year.”

While Zifa is chasing the deadline, the four clubs representing Zimbabwe in the Caf Champions League and the Confederation (Confed) Cup — Dynamos, FC Platinum, Motor Action and Hwange — have their own deadline to meet as well.

After completing the initial registration of 18 players each by December 15, they had two more weeks to make additions.

Dynamos were the first to do that adding Timire Mamvura to their squad after being left out from the initial list of 25 players which included two Zambians — Derrick Kabwe and Arthur Kaseloki — and former Legia Warsaw hitman Takesure Chinyama.

The league and cup winners play the winner between Mafunzo of Zanzibar and Muculmana de Maputo in the first round after getting a bye and will take part in a four-team tournament in South Africa at the end of January.

Motor Action, who face South Africa’s Black Leopards in the Confed Cup, have registered just 19 players, but could add former Dynamos, Gunners and Platinum striker Norman Maroto to their list.

Platinum are chasing Botswana and Mochudi Centre Chiefs winger Joel Mogorosi. Platinum need to request an International Clearance Certificate from the Botswana Football Association through Zifa and that has to be done today.

Platinum, according to sources, are ready to pay
$30 000 for the player.

Platinum take on Green Mamba of Swaziland in the preliminary round.

Hwange have been playing their cards close to their chests in terms of player material, but will play two international friendly matches in the New Year as part of their preparations.