Zifa accepts Warriors invite to Cecafa

Norman Mapeza

ZIFA has accepted an invitation for the Warriors to participate at the Council of East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa) Challenge Cup set for Kenya next month.


Zimbabwe have been invited to take part in the tournament, which is making a return after a two-year hiatus, as a guest nation.
The tournament will run from November 25 to December 9.

Cecafa secretary-general Nicholas Musonye last week wrote to Zifa inviting Zimbabwe to the tournament and gave the association until yesterday to respond to the letter.

Zifa spokesperson and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday confirmed that they had accepted the offer.

“Our participation at the Cecafa Challenge Cup tournament is confirmed,” he said.

According to the invite, Cecafa and the host nation will cover full board accommodation and local transport for the Zimbabwe delegation.

Zifa has been asked to provide air fares for the team to the East African nation.

Zimbabwe are making a return to the tournament, which they participated in six years ago.

The Warriors’ invitation could be seen as a reciprocal gesture by Kenya, whose ladies’ team was invited to participate at the Cosafa tournament held in Bulawayo last month.

Since the Cecafa tournament falls outside the Fifa international break, Zifa is likely to send a locally-based squad for the tournament.

Zimbabwe will be looking to win their second major tournament this year, having already bagged the Cosafa Cup in July in South Africa.

Sunday Chidzambwa coached the largely locally-based squad to glory, but Gwesela yesterday said they were yet to appoint a coach for the tournament.

Uganda Cranes are the defending champions of the tournament after they defeated Rwanda in the last event held in Ethiopia in 2015.
Cecafa nations that are expected to participate at the tournament are Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti and Zanzibar.

The tournament will be played at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru and Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa.