BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarušić has urged his Zifa bosses to sort out players’ allowances for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, early, to avoid “the mistakes of the past.”
Reacting to the draw for next year’s Afcon finals which was conducted in Cameroon on Tuesday night and saw the Warriors drawn in Group B together with 2019 finalists Senegal, Guinea and Malawi, the Croat said a fully focused Zimbabwean team had the potential to pass the group stage.
His assertion has been backed by Bafana Bafana and Leeds legend Lucas Radebe, who has tipped Zimbabwe to win the Afcon tournament, set to be staged in Cameroon in January.
Warriors’ last participation at the Afcon finals in Egypt was chaotic as players threatened to boycott their last group game against DR Congo over appearance fees and bonuses.
“As Zimbabwe we have to learn from our past mistakes especially at the last Afcon tournament,” Logarušić said.
“We need to just focus on the football. We need to finish things (player bonus issues) much earlier. When we travel there, there shouldn’t be any issues. We have a squad called a golden generation and it’s time for them to show the gold. I’m sure they will do something better than most people expect.”
Zifa president Felton Kamambo has said his association was already in the process of drafting contracts for the players which would stipulate what each of them would earn.
He said the document would be finalised before the end of next month.
Many believe that Zimbabwe were handed a kind draw and should reach at least the knockout stage this time around.
The top two teams in each group and best four third-placed teams, reach the knockout phase.
“So many people are saying it’s an easy group. I think they are wrong because all the qualified teams have the same goal and have quality,” Logarušić warned.
“So many times we have seen the so-called small teams giving a big challenge to the big teams. In our group Senegal are favourites on paper. But it ends there, on paper. We must respect all the nations because they are at the Afcon finals because they have quality. We have quality but so is our opponents. I personally want us to show the best we can. I want us to be successful by passing the group stages. I want us to produce results that we have not done before. I want the supporters to be happy. We will work very hard for it. But most importantly we have to be united. That means the media and the fans should be behind us, and together with the technical bench, the players we can create a positive atmosphere. If we are united, the players, me and my technical bench will not disappoint.”
Zimbabwe will get their campaign underway with a tough match against Senegal on January 10 before facing Malawi four days later. They will conclude their group matches against Guinea on January 18.
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