By Skilder Makona
The Zimbabwe Football Association has once again been exposed for poor planning after their recent request for the Warriors to play friendly matches was turned down by the Sports and Recreation Commission.
The Zimbabwe Football Association(ZIFA) was planning to organise international friendly matches for the Warriors ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia next month.
However their latest application was far from convincing with the Sport and Recreation Commission- SRC turning it down for lacking the basics.
“As SRC we could not grant permission for ZIFA to play international matches because their paperwork was not in order. Their application lacked clarity and could not specify on their opponents, dates and even the venue for their friendlies, hence we could not approve such,” said Sebastian Garikayi, Sports and Recreation Commission Acting Director General.
“We said clearly that we would clear national associations with a case by case situation so we cant just give a blanket clearance for matches we have no knowledge of.”
Efforts to get a comment from ZIFA were fruitless with the local football mother bodys spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela reported to be out of the country while ZIFA vice- President Philemon Machana said he was not prepared to speak to the media about the issue.
On another note, the SRC confirmed that they are working on measures to assist national sports associations to resume activities in a safe environment.
“We have put in place a team that is working with national federations countrywide on how best they can sort out their modalities if they are to return to action. From time to time this team is constantly engaging sports mother bodies with a view to assist them in the best possible way to put their paper work in order.”
The Warriors travel to Botswana for an AFCON qualifier set for the 22nd of March before returning home to play Zambia in Harare a week later.
The SRC has since advised ZIFA to have a 10 day bio-bubble camp before the Botswana trip with the status quo being maintained until after the Zambia tie.
By Skilder Makona