By Eddie Chikamhi
ZIFA could be forced to dress the Warriors in an alternative kit after encountering problems with the kit delivery from their suppliers Umbro.
The company have also faltered on their promise to provide replicas for sale ahead of the decisive Afcon qualifier against Congo at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday.
By last night, the official Umbro kits had not arrived despite the association receiving a waybill confirming the consignment that comprises training and playing gear for both the senior team and the Under-23 side was on its way.
The supporters will also be disappointed to learn there will not be any replica sales, despite the assurances from the new kit sponsors that they will provide 50 000 units ahead of the match.
Zifa president, Felton Kamambo, and his team have been making frantic efforts behind the scenes, shuttling between Harare and Johannesburg in the last few days.
But, it appears, they have not been successful.
The Warriors have been using the old unbranded kits for their preparations from Tuesday.
It is most likely the Young Warriors, who left for Mozambique in the afternoon yesterday for their own version of the Afcon qualifiers, will use an alternative kit.
“On our option B, all our kits are in here, two for the Under-23s and two for the national senior team.
”About the kits from Umbro, we have received the waybill for the kit but the kit is not yet here. So, as a board, we have made an alternative plan, which was our Plan B, that we activated.
“I am sorry on the replicas. Umbro could not meet their deadlines in order to supply the replicas. So, for this match, we won’t be having some replica jerseys,” said Kamambo.
Zifa and Umbro signed a three-year deal in February that will see the English sportswear and football equipment supplier providing a full consignment of training equipment, travelling gear and playing kits for all national teams, including women and various age-groups.
Under the deal, Umbro are supposed to supply a new kit for each of the national teams’ games as well as provide replicas for sale.
The failure is also a blow to Zifa who are supposed to pocket five percent commission from the sale of the replicas.
Zifa are targeting to sell one million replicas in the first three years of the deal.
Kamambo said more than 10 000 tickets have been sold and reiterated that no ticket sales will take place at the gates.
“As Zifa we are almost done. We are putting the final touches in as far as preparations are concerned.
“In terms of actual numbers I am sorry (I don’t have) but more than 10 000 and the demand in the past three days has gone up to the extent that we want to increase the number of selling points.
”We are in negotiation with the Chinese Mall (Long Chen Plaza) for that.
Despite the off-field glitches, Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa was happy with the way his preparations have been going.
“The 28 guys are here, including Marvelous Nakamba who is injured and, from what I saw yesterday, I think everyone is raring to go.
”Nakamba is a key member of the team, we are going to miss him but we chose 28 players and I think we have capable replacements.
“We are going to play eleven guys from Congo against eleven from Zimbabwe over 90 minutes and we are ready to represent the country.
”I just hope and pray that we produce a good result for the country,” said Chidzambwa. The Chronicle