Warriors Chan trip gets SRC approval
By Aaron Nhawu
ZIFA’S prayers have been answered after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) granted the Warriors permission to resume training and take part in the Chan finals in Cameroon this month.
This comes as the government imposed another hard lockdown on Tuesday for 30 days in light of a Covid-19 second wave. As a result, the SRC had to cancel all sporting activities until after the lockdown.
This had greatly affected the Warriors’ preparations for the Chan tournament, which is set to run from January 16 to February 7 in the West African country.
The Warriors are in action on the opening day as they take on the hosts in Yaounde, which has left coach Zdravko Logarusic and his players with little time. The other two teams in Group A are Mali and Burkina Faso.
Besides getting permission to resume training, the Warriors also needed to be cleared to leave the country by the government amid the pandemic.
There was a storm last year after the SRC board queried how the Young Warriors and Young Mighty Warriors were allowed to travel to South Africa for their Cosafa tournaments without proper government authorisation.
The SRC board acted swiftly by suspending their director-general Prince Mupazviriho and Zifa chief executive officer, Joseph Mamutse to pave way for investigations into the saga.
Luckily for the Warriors this time around, the government accepted Zifa’s request, which means the team is now good to go.
“Our application to proceed with participation at the upcoming Chan has been approved by the SRC. “The association would like to acknowledge and thank the SRC for the swift processing of our request to keep our preparations for the important assignment on track,” Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said yesterday.
However, while the Warriors have been given the go-ahead to start training and to travel to Cameroon, at least half of the squad is currently in self-isolation after testing positive to coronavirus. At least nine players, together with Logarusic and his entire technical team, were confirmed to have tested positive last week.
The positive tests came in after the squad had just regrouped following a week-long festive season break. “The team is still in camp, self-isolating after recording 15 positive tests for Covid-19.
“Players and officials who tested positive on December 28, 2020 will be tested again on January 10,” Gwesela added.