Warriors’ travel headache now a severe migraine

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WARRIORS coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic has admitted that the team faces a huge challenge in ensuring they are able to make it to Algiers for next week’s 2022 Afcon Group H qualifier against Algeria.
Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, flights between most cities are now very limited after the aviation industry came close to a total collapse.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to take on the Desert Foxes on November 12 at the July 5 Stadium while the return leg is set for the National Sports Stadium in Harare just four days later.

With virtually no commercial flights between Harare and Algiers between the dates of the two matches, Zifa has no choice but to charter at least two planes for the trip.

The first plane will have to carry the technical team and African-based players plying their trade in counties
such as South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Zifa will have to charter another plane for those based in Europe and the United States, who will fly directly to Algiers.

Another pressing issue facing the Warriors is the fact that most players in Logarusic’s plans have matches late into Monday morning just twoand-a-half days before the first game against the Desert Foxes.

“Our challenge is how to bring those players to Algeria. We have been looking if there is a way or somewhere, we can pick them up and take them to Algeria. “The other problem is that most of our players will have their games on
the 8th and 9th of November, which means we will have very limited time
together.

“If we are to bring them to Zimbabwe first, it’s a 15-hour flight and it will be difficult as they will have to
endure another punishing journey to Algeria. We are having serious problems.

“We tried our best and we are still trying to find a solution. We are trying to find the best possible
solution to this problem,” Loga told the Daily News On Sunday.

With the Warriors coming up against the reigning African champions after almost an eighth-month
hiatus, the Croat hopes his players will wear their heart on their sleeve and be proud to wear the green and
gold shirt.

“A few days after the Malawi game we sent letters to almost all players that we are interested in for
the Algeria game. “Of the 25 players, four of them are having problems with their documentation and it’s something which is being taken care of while some of them did not show commitment. I wanted them to show desire to play
for the national team.

“So, we have 21 confirmed players and we are working on establishing exactly who is coming and who
is not. I spoke with every player and some of them didn’t respond; some of them tried to play some games.
“And as for me, I need committed players, I want good character and

I need them to be loyal and if I feel some of those things are missing, then we are done.

“If you are born Zimbabwean you should be happy to represent Zimbabwe. If your parents were born in Zimbabwe you should make them proud by playing for the country of your parents,” Loga said.

The Warriors need to do well in these upcoming matches since Group H is currently evenly poised, with Algeria in first place with six points.

Zimbabwe are second with four points while Botswana are third with a single point. Zambia are at the bottom as they are yet to get off the mark.

After the two blockbuster clashes with the Desert Foxes, the Warriors round up their Group H campaign with an away trip to face the Zebras on March 22 and a home qualifier against Chipolopolo on March 30 next year.

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