WARRIORS gaffer Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic (pictured) has challenged Zifa to improve in their planning and organisation of national team matches after the chaotic build-up to the team’s international friendly match against Malawi on Sunday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
This was the Croatian’s maiden match in charge of the Warriors and he wanted to build towards the next Afcon qualifier against Algeria next month, but he barely got the players that he had asked for, with Zifa failing to bring in players from their bases in South Africa and Europe.
So chaotic was the preparation for the trip that Zifa even sent invitation letters to wrong clubs, while most were sent out way after the 14-day deadline imposed by Fifa.
To save face, Zifa ended up calling locally-based players who had not played any competitive match this year.
Zifa had to abort plans to send the team by bus following protests, while scheduled Press conferences were cancelled as the clueless officials chickened out of facing the media amid the mess.
In all this, Zifa still tried to absolve themselves of any blame, instead blaming the government for giving travel permission late.
But yesterday, Loga came out to demand better from his employers as he was not amused with the events in the run-up to the match.
“I expect better preparations from the federation next time. It was a good start for me, I have to go step by step but I hope next time we will have a fluid process from players to the federation but I am happy we did something during this difficult time of the coronavirus,” he told NewsDay Sport.
“There were a number of factors that somehow seemed to weigh on us, mainly the issue of players. Five of our players went straight to Malawi, they hardly trained with us and nine of them were local players who were not active most of the time. While Malawi started their preparation in September and with that result I think we did well. We tried to gel considering that we had little time together as a team.”
“Those that came will be very important in the future and we still expect all those who did not come to be an important part of us in the future. Those we dropped will be key to us in the Chan [African Nations Championship] team. As we prepare for the Afcon qualifiers, we are mindful of the fact that we are also expected to participate in the Chan tournament,” he said.
“Every game is important, whether we are using the players we usually use or we are mixing. As long as it is a national team game it remains important to us because they give many young players a chance to showcase themselves.”
The players who were dropped include Stanley Ngala, Qadr Amini, Ishmael Wadi and Phineas Bamusi.