The Young Warriors trip to Swaziland was still to be confirmed last night as they brace for an important CAF Under-23 Youth Championships return leg match against Swaziland in Mbabane on Sunday.The team was scheduled to leave this morning but, by last night, the technical side was in the dark over the travel arrangements.
ZIFA have made it clear they are facing financial challenges and the organisation’s leaders, president Cuthbert Dube and chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, are in Zurich dining with the FIFA leaders.
The Young Warriors were held to a disappointing home draw by the visitors at Rufaro on Sunday.
ZIFA were still running around yesterday to secure funding for the team’s trip.
Team manager Sharif Mussa said they were looking to leave this morning but they had not heard a word from the Association.
“The plan is to leave in the morning but we are still waiting for the itinerary from the Association. I believe ZIFA are still working on it and we remain hopeful.
“If it can’t be (this) morning then it could be in the evening, or Saturday the latest,” said Mussa.
ZIFA are facing financial challenges and they revealed that they needed at least $354 150 to cater for international assignments this month alone for the Warriors who were at COSAFA, the men’s Under-23 and the Mighty Warriors.
The association has received significant support from Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Walter Magaya to send teams to some of the assignments in the last month.
But there has been disturbing news, in recent days, that some of the money might not have been channelled to the needs of the teams.
ZIFA marketing manager, Wellington Mugwagwa, said the association was still appealing to individuals and the corporate world to come to their rescue.
“We are appealing to the corporate world and well-wishers to assist in cash and kind towards the successful fulfilment of the upcoming matches and all future assignments,” said Mugwagwa.
“Among other things, the teams need food, accommodation, airfares, allowances, travelling and playing kits while there are also referees’ fees to be settled.
“As our efforts to become a credible and high quality football organisation continue, we have established a strong foundation for our prospective sponsors.
“We now have four choices for sponsors where sponsors can deposit funds into a reputable accounting firm’s bank account. The accounting firm will manage and distribute the money to all service providers and other stakeholders for services rendered.
“Sponsors can directly pay service providers through working closely with the accounts and marketing departments. Sponsors can also deposit their funds into the ZIFA bank account and then second their auditors to audit the use of the funds.
“Last but not least, service providers can simply render services required by national teams or provide products needed at a particular time.”
The Young Warriors continued with their preparations yesterday with CAPS United left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai joining the side in camp.
Pfumbidzai missed the first leg last weekend as he was away on trials at Danish topflight side Hobro IK.
The technical team have also welcomed back the Dynamos pair of Tatenda Mukuruva and Blessing Moyo and Chicken Inn’s Lawrence Mhlanga who return to the fold after the trio was withdrawn by their clubs last week to feature in the weekend league matches.
FC Platinum’s Marshal Mudehwe and Hwange striker Pritchard Mpelele, who were part of the COSAFA squad, were also called up.
Team manager, Mussa, said Mamelodi Sundowns winger Kuda Mahachi will not be available again after he asked to be excused.