CHAN tourney gives ZIFA fresh headache

By ZBC Reporter
THE announcement of the dates for the rescheduled African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament set for Cameroon next year has presented a fresh headache for the Zimbabwe Football Association – ZIFA with no domestic league action to talk about due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The confirmation of the dates for the CHAN tournament by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has once again placed ZIFA in a precarious position, in the wake of football inactivity on the local scene.
What complicates the issue is the fact that the CHAN tournament is reserved for players who play in the domestic leagues.
However, football experts Kudzai Chitima and Barry Manandi believe there is need for the football mother body to utilise other facilities in either schools or sports clubs to expose players to competitive action ahead of the tournament that is 3 months away.
“Surely this comes as huge headache to ZIFA but I think its time to utilise school facilities for sports clubs to provide some flexibility for players to have some game exposure. Alternatively, ZIFA can call players into camp and probably send them to other neighbouring countries where they can play friendlies as part of preparations for CHAN,” said Chitima.
“ZIFA should actually adopt the bio-bubble concept but ultimately call for some bit of flexibility from the government to allow players to take off their rust and play some competitive football. We are in a difficult time of coarse but time is not on our side hence the need for players to camp early since there have been absent in action for quite some time,” said Manandi.
The sixth edition of the CHAN tournament which runs from the 16th of January to the 7th of February next year will see Zimbabwe getting their campaign underway with a date against hosts Cameroon in Group A, which also has Burkina Faso and Mali.
Meanwhile, confusion continues to reign supreme in the ZIFA camp as the team set to travel to Malawi for an international friendly against the Flames on the 11th of this month has not yet been announced.
This comes amid reports indicating that most of the foreign-based players have failed to make it for the tie, leaving coach Zdravko Logarusic is a desperate situation with reliable sources saying they are frantic efforts to include some locally based players who have not been in action since last year.

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