HARARE – The Zimbabwe national football team will leave for Zambia Thursday morning for the Cosafa Cup aboard a chartered plane, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) confirmed last night.
Coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels and his squad had been scheduled to endure a six-hour drive to Lusaka but they were given a morale booster after it emerged that Zifa had secured funds to charter a plane.
There had been an outcry from many football-loving Zimbabweans after it emerged that the national team was travelling by road to defend their title.
Zifa had been heavily criticised for maladministration following the debacle that ensued when the team travelled to Guinea for a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Pagels travelled with only 14 players and team physio Farai Muguwu for the match in Conakry after Zifa had failed to organise connecting flights for the rest of the delegation.
The Cosafa Cup makes a return after a three-year absence and Zimbabwe will arrive in Zambia as defending champions after winning the 2009 edition.
The Warriors are expected to depart from Harare International Airport at 9am and arrive in the Zambian capital at 9:45am.
Pagels will have to work without Black Mambas winger Nicholas Alifandika, who was excluded from the travelling party after picking up an ankle injury yesterday.
By virtue of being defending champions the Warriors have a bye from the first round of the competition and will take on Malawi on Saturday.