IVORY Coast Football Federation is yet to furnish Fifa and their hosts Zimbabwe of its women football team’s travelling itinerary, throwing the two nations’ 2016 Rio Olympic Preliminary Competition African Zone Third round second leg match at the weekend, into a major doubt.
BY HENRY MHARA
Ivory Coast are expected in Harare this week for the qualifying match against the Mighty Warriors at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday, but indications yesterday were that the West African nation might, as they did last month, forfeit the trip.
Zifa yesterday said they were in the dark as to when their visitors would arrive.
“We have written to them, twice a day every day, requesting for their itinerary, but we are not getting any response,” Zifa women football administrator Theresa Maguraushe said yesterday.
“We have been in touch with Fifa and they are also telling us that they are having problems in getting responses from Ivory Coast. Fifa have already given us the itinerary for the match officials who we expect to arrive tomorrow (today),” Maguraushe added.
The second match was initially supposed to take place on August 2, but was deferred to Sunday after the Ivory Coast team failed to pitch up.
Ivory Coast later wrote to Fifa saying they had problems with their travelling logistics, forcing the world football mother body to defer the dates.
The tie’s troubles started when the Mighty Warriors failed to travel to Ivory Coast for the first leg, which attracted a $10 000 fine and a forfeited match with a 3-0 scoreline.
Curiously, no sanctions were imposed on Ivory Coast for failing to show up.
And when NewsDay Sport wrote to Fifa asking why Ivory Coast was treated differently, the response was: “The match was rescheduled after taking into account all the specific circumstances of the matter and logistical challenges, bearing in mind also that the first leg match was not played due to the behaviour of Zifa.”
Ivory Coast qualified to this stage without kicking a ball after Tunisia pulled out, while the Mighty Warriors beat Zambia.
Meanwhile, the Mighty Warriors continued with their preparations for the match with two training sessions at the match venue.
Team manager Charity Munemo yesterday said the preparations were going on well.
Referee: Carolyne Wanjala (Kenya), Assistant Referees: Charity Ndozi, Happiness Mbanda (Malawi), Fourth Official: Mercy Mziya (Malawi), Referee Assessor: Joan Minja (Tanzania), Commissioner: Kelly Mkandanga (Rwanda).
Mighty Warriors squad: C Dzingirai, P Chatsamwa, D Makaha, M Msasa, N Majika, M Murandu, S Makoto, T Mandaza, E Msipa, C Muhara, S Zulu, M Nyaumwe, E Jeke, R Makore, R Neshamba, M Chirandu, F Muzongondi, R Kapfumvuti, E Chibanda, L Mutokuto, B Kabwe, V Ndlovu, D Kaitano, K Chiparaushe, T Tsunguro.