THE Warriors got a timely boost ahead of their participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after Zifa and sponsors NetOne addressed accommodation and allowance issues yesterday, which had threatened to throw the team’s preparations off the rails.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
NetOne executives first had a meeting with Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa, following reports that the football mother body was failing to accommodate the players in decent facilities, sending them to Zifa Village, which the players felt was substandard.
After the Zifa and NetOne meeting, Chiyangwa and some executives from the telecoms firm, who included chief operations officer, Clever Isaya, visited the team during their afternoon training session, where the players were assured that they would be accommodated at a city hotel until they leave and that their allowances would be paid.
“I just wanted to assure them that everything was in order,” Chiyangwa said.
“I told the players that they could choose whatever hotel they want to stay in. Whatever happened when they returned from holiday was not Zifa’s fault, we also had to consult with the sponsors, which we have done and everything is better than before.
“We will have a meeting tomorrow (today) over allowances and once that is done, they will be paid. It’s all set for them now to go out there and compete.”
There had been a standoff between Zifa and the players over accommodation and allowances.
Zifa wanted to accommodate the players at Zifa Village, probably to cut on costs, an arrangement the players rejected, insisting the facility did not meet standards.
The Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe came to the Warriors’ rescue and facilitated the players’ accommodation and meals at a hotel in Harare for three days, which would have elapsed this morning.
NetOne will pay for the players’ accommodation for the remainder of their stay there.
The mobile telephone company is said to have already paid for the team’s airfares to Cameroon, where they will play an international friendly match against the hosts.
NetOne announced a $250 000 sponsorship for the Warriors’ Gabon 2017 campaign, which Zifa said had not been exhausted.
The team is scheduled to leave the country on Sunday and will camp in Cameroon before they fly to Gabon.
Allowances for players that played the friendly match against Ivory Coast on Boxing Day were also paid.
The players that are travelling for the Afcon finals had requested they be paid $5 000 each per match and $300 each as daily allowances.
But Zifa felt this was exorbitant and the two parties will be looking to come up with a common position before tomorrow’s departure.
Zimbabwe are in Group B where they have to contend with Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria for the two places up for grabs in the quarter-finals stage from their pool.
Yesterday Zifa said the 23-man squad for the finals would be announced today and the technical team was set to finalise on it last night after their meeting with Chiyangwa.
Goalkeepers: Tatenda Mukuruva, Donovan Bernard, Takabva Mawaya. Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu, Elisha Muroiwa, Bruce Kangwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Oscar Machapa, Onisimor Bhasera, Lawrence Mhlanga, Teenage Hadebe. Midfeilders: Danny Phiri, Willard Katsande, Khama Billiat, Kuda Mahachi, Marshall Mudehwe, Marvelous Nakamba. Strikers: Cuthbert Malajila, Evans Rusike, Knowledge Musona, Nyasha Mushekwi, Mathew Rusike and Tendai Ndoro.