HomeSportSoccerZim five-a-side ready for Sudan challenge

Zim five-a-side ready for Sudan challenge

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Futsal (five-a-side) national men’s team are likely to play their World Cup preliminary round qualifiers at home after their opponents Sudan requested to play the reverse fixture in Harare owing to lack of facilities back home.

Zimbabwe host the Central African nation in the first leg qualifier at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex on Saturday with the return leg set for Khartoum two weeks later. However, Sudan this week wrote to Zifa asking to have the two matches played in Harare. Zifa in turn on Monday forwarded the request to the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

The association’s communications manager Nicky Dlamini yesterday said: “They have written to us requesting to play the reverse fixture here, apparently because they don’t have an approved pitch to host the match. We haven’t agreed to the proposal yet because it is against the tournament’s rules. The matches should be played in a home and away basis, so we have raised the issue with Caf,” said Dlamini.

The Sudanese have also remained mum on their travelling arrangements to Harare.

“They haven’t sent their itinerary as yet. The only communication we have received from them is the request to have the reverse match played here,” said Dlamini.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, stepped up preparations for the encounter.

New coach Frank Farakazi, who was handed the top job at the Zifa board meeting last week, has called in 20 players to camp and will drop two for the match.

Farakazi will be assisted by Max Ruza and Enock Mutuma while Michael Musagwiza was named team manager. Big names that have been included in the squad are Fungai Mukaira and Mario Mabhacho, both of Premier Soccer league team Blue Rangers, while Gift Mugabe of Northern Region Division One squad Black Rhinos is also in the team

“The future of Futsal looks bright if we are not robbed of these players by Premier League teams,” said Farakazi.

In terms of preparations for the Saturday match, he said: “The information I gathered about Sudan is that the game is still in its infancy in that country and does not have a running league. They should not give us problems.”

If Zimbabwe go past Sudan, they will meet neighbours South Africa in the first round next month. The second and final round of qualifiers will be played in June with winners booking a ticket to the finals to be staged in Thailand later this year.

Zimbabwe squad: B Dlamini, C Muguzumbi, J Chindinya, J Madora, C Chivero, B Chipurura, W Ndaba, G Mugabe, V Mafusire, M Phiri, B Mpofu, I Kanyati, T Tambala, C Mpofu, A Makwelo, F Mukaira, S Kundasi, M Mabhacho, R Ngwenya, T Chitsamba.

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