The Warriors could plunge into the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football finals battle without the aid of their supporters due to huge costs of travelling to Gabon.
BY Sports Reporter
All efforts to organise transport and accommodation for a contingent of supporters coming from Zimbabwe have seemingly faltered.
There were suggestions that a charter flight to ferry supporters and some Zifa members would be organised, but after the players demanded payment, all the resources are being channelled towards playing the players.
The Warriors successfully negotiated appearance fees of $5 000 each match per player, while they were promised daily allowances of $400 each. Supporters’ associations have been left stranded after they failed to raise money for air fares, accommodation and upkeep at the tournament.
Mobile telecommunication company, NetOne, will sponsor 10 supporters on a fully-paid trip to Gabon, but that could be all the voices the Warriors will have in the stands.
As of yesterday, a return ticket to Libreville from Harare cost a minimum of $800, while accommodation costs could take about $50 a day for a decent facility.
While the Warriors could struggle for cheerleaders, their rivals are likely to be well-represented in the grandstands.
Senegal have a popular army of supporters, who travel to most places their team plays.
With the stakes so high at Afcon, they are likely to invade Gabon in a bid to inspire their team to glory.
Algeria fans, who will arrive at the Afcon finals with the firm belief that their team can win the tournament, are also good travellers, while the Tunisians are also expected to travel in their numbers.
Zimbabwe will play their first two matches against Algeria and Senegal on January 15 and 19, respectively in Franceville, which is about 800km away from the capital Libreville.
The Warriors will then travel to Libreville for their final Group B match against Tunisia.
Travel logistics have also rendered the trip an expensive one for some of the Warriors diehard fans.