BY HENRY MHARA
IT NEVER rains, but pours for the Warriors delegation that participated at the ongoing African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament after four members of the team were forced to remain behind in Cameroon after testing positive for COVID-19.
The rest of the team arrived home yesterday after an unforgettable campaign in which they failed to progress to the knockout stages after losing all their three group matches.
Zifa yesterday announced that four members of the delegation did not board the plane back to Harare because of positive COVID-19 results. The association did not disclose the identity of those left in quarantine in Yaoundé.
“Zifa confirms that four members of the Chan delegation tested positive to COVID-19 and have remained quarantined in Cameroon,” Zifa said in a statement yesterday.
“Other members of the delegation are now in the country. We wish quick recovery to all the affected players and officials.”
A source yesterday said the quartet are asymptomatic. This latest setback concludes what has been a chaotic tournament for the home-based Warriors who suffered the ignominy of becoming the first team to crash out of this year’s Chan tournament.
This is the first time that Zimbabwe has lost all their group matches at the tournament, reserved exclusively for players who play football in local leagues.
Coach Zdravko Logarušic, who is facing increasing pressure following the latest failure, will argue though that there were mitigating factors for the team’s poor show in Cameroon.
He has mourned his team’s poor preparations for the tournament due to the effects of coronavirus.
The Croat was forced to pick players for the tournament who had not played a competitive game in over a year after last season’s local premier league failed to start.
Then as the team was beginning to intensify their preparations, a bout of the deadly virus hit the camp, affecting nine players and six officials resulting in discontinuation of training.
The team only resumed training two days before departure for the tournament. Injuries and illness also blighted the camp in Cameroon.
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