HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association (ZNSSA) has welcomed the Warriors qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Gabon.
Zimbabwe sealed their place at the finals after a convincing 3-0 win over Malawi at the National Sports Stadium to take an unassailable lead at the top of Group L.
This will be the Warriors’ first appearance at Africa’s premier football tournament since 2006.
ZNSSA life president Eddy “Mboma” Nyatanga said the hard work must start now to prepare the team for the finals.
“It’s a great feeling for all Zimbabweans today because we will be going to Gabon next,” Nyatanga said.
“Of course let’s celebrate the qualification since it has been 10 years since we played at the Afcon but there is a lot that needs to be done.
“We need to set up a trust that raises funds to help with the team’s preparations; Wicknell Chivayo cannot do it alone.
“It’s time the whole of Zimbabwe comes together and start raising money for the Warriors.
“You must also remember the girls have already qualified for the Olympics and their Afcon, so the association is going to need a lot of money.”
Nyatanga said with the right preparations, the Warriors can go and challenge other top nations in Gabon.
“We have got a talented squad and we should be qualifying for such tournaments on a regular basis,” he said.
“There was a lot of confusion at Zifa but since (Philip) Chiyangwa has come on board; normalcy has been restored in our football.
“He has done a really good job in only six months’ time. Now we want to go to Gabon and hopefully try to win the cup but it will all boil down to whether the team has adequate preparations.”
The vocal supporters’ leader also praised Chiyangwa’s administration for liquidating Zifa.
At Saturday’s Assembly meeting, Zifa passed a motion to dissolve the association and from now onwards, the local game will be administered by the National Football Association of Zimbabwe (NFAZ).
“Our football should start on a clean sheet from now onwards. All those corrupt officials should not be allowed to be part of this new dispensation,” Nyatanga said.
The ZNSSA boss also commended the association for imposing various bans on those implicated in the latest match-fixing scandal.
Nyatanga, however, feels that bans from football alone will not deter match-fixers in the future.
He said criminal charges against those accused must be pursued in order to curb the cancer.