WARRIORS DOWN TOOLS . . . Zifa NC play down stand-off

PREPARATIONS for the Warriors’ second 2026 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria scheduled for Huye Stadium in Butare this Sunday were yesterday disrupted as players refused an afternoon training session over unpaid bonuses, appearance fees and allowances. 

Coach Baltemar Brito was made to sit on the bus for about 45 minutes waiting for players, who stayed in their rooms, and later disembarked in frustration. The team later visited the Zimbabwe embassy in Kigali for a date with the ambassador, Professor Charity Manyeruke after a brief “recovery session” in the gym at the hotel. 

The Zifa Normalisation Committee immediately tried to play down the discontent and, instead, attacked the Zimpapers Sports for focusing on “negatives.” 

After opening the campaign with a goalless draw against Rwanda at the same venue on Wednesday, Zimbabwe need to pick a positive result when they “host” Nigeria on Sunday to give themselves a better chance of qualifying for quadrennial fiesta for the first time. 

The players want their daily allowances paid and are also demanding they get something from their draw against Rwanda. 

The Normalisation Committee reportedly promised US$2 000 for a win but said nothing on drawn matches. And the players flatly refused to go for a scheduled session in Kigali’s favourable weather demanding they get paid first. Although there were some social media reports back home suggesting that the players had not trained due to rains that supposedly poured in the Rwandan capital, Zimpapers Sports can reveal that there was no rain or any signs of rain in Rwanda. 

As players remained in their rooms, members of the Zifa NC, who took with them a bloated delegation, were engaging in a marathon meeting downstairs of their Kigali hotel.

ZIFA NC chairperson Lincoln Mutasa tried to play the strike down. “This is not a strike. We had to wait for the embassy to give us time to visit them. This is why as the ZIFA NC, we are creating our own media within ZIFA,” he fumed. “Why do you guys want to dwell so much on something that you see is negative?

“I thought we should be concentrating on giving these players space to shine. We should not look much into these negatives. 

“There are some delays here and there. But everything is under control”. 

Although Sunday’s match is in Butare, some 126km from the capital, the team had to shift base to Kigali due to lack of proper training facilities in Rwanda’s third biggest city. 

One senior player who cannot be named said the ZIFA NC was taking the players for granted. “They (NC) tried to talk to us as they wanted us to be patient but previous experiences taught us otherwise,” he said. 

“We need them to deliver on their promises. We are not betraying the nation and that is never our intention. We love our country so much and will fight for the badge but obviously we need the NC to deliver what they would have promised”.

Herald

Positive Eye News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Barca confirm departure of head coach, Xavi

Barcelona have confirmed the departure of Xavi Hernández as Head Coach of the club. The coach will depart at the end of the season. Xavi was informed by club president Joan Laporta in a team meeting today and the club issued a statement to that effect. “Today Friday, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has informed […]

Read More
Sports

Zim Cricket Stadium Construction Project gathers momentum

The government’s promise to leave no one and no place behind is coming to fruition. Keeping this promise, the government plans to build a modern cricket stadium in the Masuwe Special Economic Zone for Tourism in Victoria Falls. Until now, Zimbabweans have only seen international cricket matches in Harare and Bulawayo, but this will change. […]

Read More
Highlanders coach shakes hands with his Arenel counterpart Farai Tawachera after playing a nil-all draw at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.
Sports

Derby blues…Arenel frustrate Bosso

THE silence in the stadium after the final whistle best captured what a frustrating afternoon it was for the Highlanders faithful, who perhaps believed they would get three points yesterday. Bosso were left frustrated by their goalless draw against Arenel, who celebrated the point. The result means that Highlanders have dropped points in all Bulawayo […]

Read More