ZIFA abandons mighty warriors: coach

Sport Zimbabwe

Howard Musonza

The Zimbabwe Football Association are back in the limelight, after they virtually ignored the Mighty Warriors in the build-up to their first leg Olympic 2020 qualifier against Zambia.

The Mighty Warriors went on to fall to a heavy 5-0 drubbing in the opening leg played at Nkoloma stadium, after enduring a harrowing road trip to the neighbouring country, which was completed on the eve of the fixture.

The association has a penchant for overlooking the needs of the girl child after it failed, on numerous occasions, to honour its financial obligations to the team.

Though she did not openly place the blame on the doorstep of Zifa, Mighty Warrior coach, Sithethelwe Sibanda lamented the neglect they are facing at the hands of the association, which culminated in their defeat at the hands of the Zambians.

“5-0 is not a good scoreline and a true reflection of the game, we struggled physically and as a team, it is always difficult to meet on the travelling day without training. “There was no training, not even a single training, that is why we were forced to do an injury inspired substitution in the first half because of a hamstring injury and football is all about training.” “Our country (Zifa) is our worst enemy in terms of not affording us the time to train. Football has to be respected, you play the way you train,” said Sibanda after the game in Zambia.

“Basically the girls tried, we went down physically in the second half but technically we are a very good side. When you are not fit some things tactically do not come up.”

Asked if her girls will be able to overturn the huge deficit back home, Sibanda agreed that it will not be easy, but was quick to remind her audience that the team is comprised of battle hardened ‘warlords’.

“It is a very difficult one but we need to go there to do our best, it does not mean we are out even considering the huge deficit. “The pride of the nation will be at stake so we are just going to give a good account of ourselves.”

“They (players) will rise. They have faced difficult situations worse off than this and they are strong psychologically. “They went to Cosafa with three days of training and got a medal, so psychologically these players are a
good lot.