Warriors depart for AFCON on Sunday as Zifa condemns team for holding nation at ransom
Zimbabwe will depart for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon on Sunday 8 January, the country’s football association has confirmed.
The players will leave in two batches, one in the morning and another later in the day.
The football team had been locked in a stand-off with the Zimbabwe Football Association over money but it would seem it has all been sorted now.
In a statement Zifa apologised to the nation for ‘the failure by the Zimbabwe senior men’s team to attend the scheduled send-off ceremony at Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare and the team’s consequent failure to travel to Cameroon for an international friendly match’.
In a statement condemned the the ‘behavior portrayed by the team and their desire to hold the whole nation to ransom in their quest to earn money that this economy cannot sustain’.
The issues behind the impasse include the accommodation during camp, the alleged increasing of allowance demands during negotiations, the timing as well as form (the players apparently wanted their money paid in cash to be carried to Gabon) of payment and some other money owed from 2014.
Zifa says an investigation is under way to deal with any instigators.
While one can see how the association feels and it has some points given the economy, past experience with the association could be the reason why the players are wary. Not great headlines for Zimbabwe when we really should be talking tactics and the sort.
Zimbabwe kick off their campaign against Algeria on 15 January. Tunisia and Senegal are in the same group.