WARRIORS skipper, Willard Katsande has assured football fans that they will not allow monetary issues to distract their focus on the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon in two weeks’ time.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The players have been locked in negotiations with Zifa over allowances and bonuses for their participation at the biennial soccer showcase.
Some of the players confided that they had demanded $5 000 per player for each of their three matches and daily allowances of $300.
Nevertheless, Katsande said the team was in great spirits and remained focused ahead of their third appearance at the continental soccer jamboree.
The Kaizer Chiefs anchorman acknowledged there were squabbles over money, but was quick to point out that they would not allow that to prevent them from seeing the bigger picture to go and make a mark at the tournament.
“It’s true we need money, but what we don’t want is to allow those issues to distract us. I understand the technical team is taking care of that. So we want to remain focused on the task at hand,” he said.
The players turned down the mother body’s request that they be camped at the Zifa Village in Mount Hampden.
They were accommodated at a local hotel in Harare after a well-wisher, with the help of the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe, offered to foot the bill.
The Warriors skipper also said their preparations were going on well, adding that what was only left was to acclimatise to the environment in Gabon.
“Our preparations have gone on well so far. The combinations are working well, all that is left is for the team to go and acclimatise. We should be leaving for Cameroon on Sunday, where we will play our hosts in a friendly. This match benefits us since we will play a West African side at the tournament. The climatic conditions are also the same as in Gabon, so Cameroon is an ideal place for us to camp before we go out to Gabon,” Katsande said.
Zimbabwe will kick off their campaign with a clash against Algeria on January 15, before taking on Senegal four days later.
The Kalisto Pasuwa-coached side then wind up their group stage games against Tunisia.
The Warriors will be hoping to progress beyond the group stage for the first time, having fallen at the first hurdle in their last two appearances.