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ZIMBABWE’S home-based Warriors will now have just a few days of preparations before they begin their 2015 COSAFA Cup campaign in South Africa next weekend amid revelations ZIFA are still to conclude contractual issues with coach Callisto Pasuwa and his back-room staff.

The Warriors will take on Indian Ocean islanders Mauritius at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on May 17 in their opening match of the tournament.

The MauritiusZimbabwe tie will be the second match of a double header in which Namibia and Seychelles will get the tournament underway in the first match at the same venue.

A combination of lack of financial resources, on the part of broke ZIFA, and reluctance by Premiership clubs to release their players for longer periods, has meant that Pasuwa’s men will only come together on Monday after fulfilling their club duties at various venues across the country.

Zimbabwe, runners-up to hosts Zambia in Ndola in 2013, are expected to troop into camp on Monday afternoon and will only have a few a days before they fly out to South Africa’s North West province for the regional tournament they have previously won on four occasions, twice under history-making coach Sunday Chidzambwa in 2003 and 2009 and once with Misheck Chidzambwa (2000) and Charles Mhlauri in South Africa in 2005.

Pasuwa has been tasked with doubling up as Warriors and Under-23 coach with the coach’s appointment receiving the nod of ZIFA’s High Performance Committee who have recommended to the board that the former Dynamos mentor be made substantive senior side gaffer.

But the ZIFA board are yet to meet to finalise the coach’s appointment and pave the way for Pasuwa to know the length of his mandate and other conditions contained in his terms of reference.

It is a similar story for Pasuwa’s backroom staff that includes assistant coaches Saul Chaminuka, Nation Dube and Jairos Tapera and team manager Shariff Mussa whom the coach would want to be given contracts too.

ZIFA board member for development, John Phiri, was, however optimistic that the association’s leadership would “either meet over the weekend or next week to discuss the national coach’s issue and that of our national teams that are involved in assignments.

“I think a meeting will be called sooner rather than later so that we move on with our preparations,” said Phiri, who also chairs the HPC.

Pasuwa will prepare the Warriors in Harare but will not leave for South Africa with them as he would have to remain home to take charge of the Young Warriors’ Olympic side that will face Swaziland at home in an Under-23 Championships second round qualifier at Rufaro on May 23.

In the arrangement made by ZIFA, former ZPC Kariba coach Chaminuka will take charge of the Warriors in their preliminary group games in which they will also face Seychelles on May 19 and Namibia three days at the Moruleng stadium.

The 20 000 seat stadium was constructed at a cost of R174 million and became known nationally soon after completion, when it served as a training ground for teams competing in the 2009 FIFA Confederation Cup, 2010 World Cup and the African Cup of Nations in 2013.

ZIFA communication manager Xolisani Gwesela is hopeful the Warriors will still be able to make the most of their limited time for preparations before they leave for South Africa.

“The biggest problems we have is that we do not have money and we are in dire need of assistance from the corporate world, individuals and the government. We have a number of international obligations to fulfil this year and we are still committed to trying to do well in all the competitions.

“We are looking at having the team leave for South Africa either on Wednesday or Thursday,” Gwesela said.

Source : The Herald

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