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Taurai Mangwiro

HPC SEEKS AUDIENCE WITH ZIFA OVER AFCON

THE high performance committee (HPC) is expected to meet with the Zifa leadership to make recommendations on the Warriors’ preparations for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon between January and February. BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Former Warriors midfielder, Moses Chunga, a member of the committee, confirmed they were seeking a meeting with the Zifa leadership, where they will present their recommendations in a bid to ensure the Warriors are well-prepared for the continental soccer showcase.

“We should be meeting with the Zifa president (Philip Chiyangwa), as the HPC. We want to try and raise our standards, as a team, as we go to the Afcon, but I can’t say what we will discuss before we meet the Zifa president,”he said. “We should be meeting soon, but no date has been fixed yet.”

Other members of HPC are vice-chairman, Sunday Chidzambwa, Rahman Gumbo, Innocent Chogugudza, Masimba Chihohwa and Taurai Mangwiro, who is the Zifa technical director. Zifa vice-president, Omega Sibanda chairs the committee.

The Kalisto Pasuwa-coached side were drawn in Group B with Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal for the finals.

Chidzambwa, however, said a line ought to be drawn between helping and interfering with the technical team.

He said the committee can only offer advice to the technical team and not dictate terms.

“There should be a difference between helping and interfering with the technical team,” he said. “Our role will be limited to just helping. We will not in any way interfere with his (Pasuwa) job. He should do his job without undue influence, as he has always been doing. The coach needs the support of everyone.”

The veteran coach – the first to qualify Zimbabwe to the Afcon finals since independence when he shepherded the Warriors to Tunisia in 2004 – also said issues of allowances and remuneration for players must be addressed before the team leaves for Gabon.

“A situation, where players go for a tournament before issues to do with their allowances have been resolved, must be a thing of the past. We want that issue to be addressed before the team gets onto the plane,” Chidzambwa said.

Zimbabwe, in probably the toughest group, will need to put everything into the preparations.

Pasuwa has since requested two international friendlies against Egypt and Morocco before the tournament begins.

Zifa are looking to use next month’s Fifa international window to organise a friendly, but lack of funds may yet scupper everything.

Zimbabwe, who will be making their third appearance at the continental showpiece, will get the ball rolling against Algeria on January 15 at the Stade de Franceville, before taking on Senegal at the same venue four days later.

They will conclude the group stages with a match against Tunisia at the Stade L’Ammitse on January 23.

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