Zifa still ironing out issues with Mapeza

19 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
Zifa still ironing out issues with Mapeza Norman Mapeza

The Sunday News

Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
IRONING out some issues with coach Norman Mapeza has caused a delay in the announcement of the Zimbabwe Warriors provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Warriors are getting into camp in Harare on Thursday, with the team to depart for Cameroon on 29 December.
A squad of 40 players was submitted to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) some weeks ago but Zimbabwean football fans are still in the dark on who is in the team from where the final 23 will be picked from to represent the country.

The Warriors face Senegal on 10 January, clash with Malawi on 14 January before they collide with Guinea four days later.

Zimbabwe Football Association general manager for national teams, Wellington Mpandare asked for patience as the delay in announcing the squad was caused by attending to some issues with Mapeza, the man to take charge of the Warriors in Cameroon.

Wellington Mpandare

Mapeza was initially given a contract to finish off Zimbabwe’s remaining 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers after Zifa parted ways with Zdravko Logarusic in September. The deal expired at the end of the qualifiers last month.

“We didn’t have a coach, there were issues that we were just finalising with the head coach, remember he had a contract which expired in December so there were just a few issues that we were sorting out, we have managed to sort those things out. We will sit down by tomorrow (today) or Monday, come up with a final position on who will be coming into camp on the 23rd,’’ Mpandare said.

The Warriors team manager confirmed that frantic efforts were now being made to register Tanzania based striker, Prince Dube who was initially not part of the provisional squad since he was injured. Dube is now back playing for his club, Azam after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The striker started for Azam in a league encounter against Mbeya City, a match the Chamazi Millionaires won 2-2, the goals scored by fellow Zimbabweans, Bruce Kangwa and Never Tigere. Kangwa is also expected to be in the provisional squad of 40.

“Prince (Dube) was a player that was not part of the 40, he was not part of the 40 registered players but we are trying to register him now that he is fit and playing. We are talking with Caf, I had made a request that we would probably need to add more players because we could not come up with the final 40 because our league was just starting. I think we will be successful in registering him,’’ Mpandare.

Zifa are also making efforts to persuade Khama Billiat to reconsider his decision to retire from international football. Billiat last month made a shocking announcement that he was retiring from international football at the age of 31.

Mpandare explained that they have not yet engaged Billiat since the player went into a bio bubble following a Covid-19 outbreak at his South African club, Kaizer Chiefs.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to South Africa to meet up with Khama (Billiat), after the Covid-19 at Kaizer Chiefs, the players went into a bubble, especially Khama and Dolly (Keagan). So, we could not go to meet him when he was in a bubble so we wait to hear after the weekend game then we see if we can just fly there or just conclude the negotiations over the phone, hopefully by Monday, something would have come up,’’ said Mpandare.

Zimbabwe have already lost Brendan Galloway, Marvelous Nakamba and Marshal Munetsi to injury while Tendayi Darikwa has asked to be excused from the Afcon.
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