7 September 2016
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has given credit to government, NetOne and Air Zimbabwe for ensuring that the Warriors fulfilled their last AFCON qualifier in Guinea on Sunday.
The national team had to leave it until late to travel for the match which ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts in Conakry.
The Warriors delegation arrived early Sunday morning with 13 players while three other European-based players arrived hours later, on the same day of the match.
“As may be common knowledge by now, we did not have the best of travelling arrangements, more so to a tricky a destination such as Conakry and I acknowledge that as an association and as a nation we could have done better in that regard as this impacts on the team’s performance.
“I would like to pay special tribute to the government of Zimbabwe through the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon Makhosini Hlongwane, Netone Cellular, Air Zimbabwe and all our valued corporate partners and friends who came on board to ensure we managed to fulfil the fixture and complete our qualification campaign,” said Chiyangwa.
He added that the Guinea trip was an important lesson for them ahead of Gabon 2017 finals in January.
“We believe that we have drawn some important lessons both administratively and technically from this trip to Guinea, which should stand us in good stead as we now turn our full focus to the actual African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Gabon in January 2017.
“Our technical team will soon roll out their training programme also outlining their preferred camping bases in preparation for the Gabon finals.
“In this regard, I would like to assure the nation that we are working round the clock to ensure that the Warriors’ preparations for Gabon are as smooth as possible and this is despite the challenges that we are facing as an association in a tough economic environment.
“Together we can and we believe we have the capable human resources to bring us success and it is up to all of us individually and collectively to give the Warriors the support they need.”
He said the Mighty Warriors also needed the same support.
“As I have said previously, the Mighty Warriors are going to the Women AFCON in Cameroon in from November 19 to December 3.
“Like their Warriors brothers, the Mighty Warriors also need our collective support and partnership in order to afford them adequate preparations that will enable them to be in the right physical and mental condition to conquer Africa. Judging from the girls’ fighting spirit against top opposition in Brazil earlier this year, lifting the trophy is a strong possibility,” he said.
Chiyangwa believes both the Warriors and Mighty Warriors can be successful.
“We are in a strong position to achieve double success at the respective African Cup of Nations tournaments and we have it within our powers as Zimbabweans to achieve that,” he said.