The Sunday News
Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Felton Kamambo led Zifa executive committee has scored a first by taking the senior national team out of the capital for a crucial African Nations qualifier.
The Warriors take on Botswana at Barbourfields Stadium on November 15 in a 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
From the inaugural Zifa president, one Moroni Mushambadope who was appointed by Zimbabwe’s first Sports Minister Joice Mujuru in 1980 but lasted just three months after he was replaced by Nelson Chirwa, all the presidents have presided over the senior national team playing crucial matches in Harare with Bulawayo only being given friendly matches or dead rubber Afcon qualifiers like in 2007 when the Warriors beat Malawi 3,1 in a dead rubber 2008 Afcon qualifier. Other matches played in Bulawayo have been the regional Cosafa matches.
Soon after assuming office Kamambo publicly promised that his committee will take the national team to all corners of the country instead of having it as a preserve of the capital only.
Even the World Cup preliminary match against Somalia was initially slated for Emagumeni before flight challenges faced by the Somalis, coupled with sportsmanship on the part of Zifa, saw the match being shifted to the National Sports Stadium.
“To us we are saying Zimbabwe is not Harare. Bulawayo, like every other part of the nation deserves to watch their team, a national asset that belongs to every Zimbabwean. We wi continue to rotate matches for the benefit of our fans and its also our hope that Bulawayo will rise and come in numbers to cheer the boys next week,” said acting Zifa vice president Phillemon Machana.
The Warriors will troop into camp in Bulawayo on Monday.