Senior Sports Reporter
THE ZIFA Normalisation Committee suffered a double blow this week as they prepare for next month’s FIFA World Cup qualifying games during the current international break.
An attempt to call up senior national team key players based overseas via WhatsApp failed to yield results and they have since settled for lesser names, predominantly South Africa-based.
Also, as reported by Zimpapers Sports yesterday, an attempt to squeeze an international friendly against neighbours Botswana flopped.
The Warriors will now just group and prepare on their own in a training camp.
ZIFA yesterday unveiled a squad of 24 players that will work under the surveillance of new Warriors coach Baltemar Brito, for the next few days, in preparation of next month’s World Cup qualifying games.
A statement from ZIFA said the proposed game, meant to give Brito a better appreciation of the resources at his disposal before serious international commitments, had “been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control”.
The ZIFA officials were left in an uncomfortable spot after the Botswana Football Association announced they were not aware of the friendly match, and instead confirmed their scheduled friendly game against Eswatini in Lobatse next Monday.
Veteran goalkeeper Washington Arubi, who plays for Supersport United in the Supa Diski, leads the South Africa-based contingent.
ZIFA could not explain the absence of some of the key Warriors players like Jordan Zemura, Marvelous Nakamba, Tino Kadewere, Marshall Munetsi, Kundai Benyu and US-based Teenage Hadebe, who reportedly got an unorthodox invitation via WhatsApp.
It has also emerged that many of these players also got WhatsApp texts inviting them to come home for national duty.
Warriors squad for the training camp:
Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi (SuperSport United), Prince Tafiremutsa (Dynamos), Wallace Magalane (FC Platinum)
Defenders: Ronald Pfumbidzai (SuperSport United), Peter Muduhwa, Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (CAPS United), Munashe Garananga (FC Sheriff Tiraspol), Devine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Frank Makarati (Dynamos)
Midfielders: Never Tiger (Ihefu S.C), Tatenda Tavengwa (Venda Football Academy), Tanaka Shandirwa (Dynamos), Brian Banda, Walter Musona (FC Platinum), Phenias Bamusi (CAPS United), Takunda Benhura (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Gerald Bero (Manica Diamonds), Shepherd Mhlanga (Chicken Inn)
Forwards: Obriel Chirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Terrence Dzvukamanja (SuperSport United), Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya (FC Platinum)