By Grace Chingoma
The Warriors will wrap up their Afcon finals preparations in Egypt with a practice match against Tanzania on Sunday.
Coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa and his charges are already in the North African country for the continental showpiece after arriving few days earlier than other teams.
Zimbabwe, who have struck a cordial relationship with Nigeria and flew together to Egypt on a chartered plane on Sunday, have finalised another practice match with the Super Eagles.
However, this match will only materialise if both teams progress to the next round.
Yesterday, the team was given a rest day by the technical team to allow players to recover after a busy week in which they featured in three games.
Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare, said the team will resume training today.
“The players never had a rest day since the Cosafa Cup matches, it was all travelling and playing games,’’ he said.
“Our training venue in Cairo is very secure, the security is tight and we are not worried about any strangers watching our training sessions.
“It is up to us to allow people during training or not.’’
Zimbabwe are currently staying at a guest house and will move into the official Caf hotel early next week.
Mpandare said everyone in camp was happy and they were bullish the current squad might do better than the teams who have represented the country at the Afcon finals in the past.
Zimbabwe are in Group A where they open their campaign against the hosts Egypt on June 21 (at 10pm Zimbabwean time) before they take on Uganda on June 26 (at 7pm Zimbabwean time).
They then wrap up their group-stage matches against the Democratic Republic of Congo four days later at 9pm.
The hosts Egypt have named their final 23-man squad, led by Liverpool’s star striker Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny.
Meanwhile, the Warriors Fundraising Committee have pegged a table of 10 people at $5 000 for today’s fund-raising dinner at a local hotel.
The committee is expecting to sell all the tables by the end of today.
The Warriors fundraising dinner is expected to be graced by President Mnangagwa.
Sub committee’s communications chairperson, Eve Gadzikwa, said the preparations were at an advanced stage.
“We are at an advanced stage in terms of our preparations. We are anticipating that all tables should have been sold by end of the day tomorrow (today).
“We are also appealing to stakeholders and corporates to support us to raise US$500 000.
“We are expecting His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, to attend the dinner as the guest of honour,” said Gadzikwa.
The fund-raising committee’s spokesperson added that the committee, which has lined up a number of activities, was also looking at establishing fan parks where fans can watch the African Cup of Nations and the Warriors participation in Egypt.
Egypt’s final 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shennawy (Pyramids FC), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Gennesh (Zamalek).
Defenders: Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Baher El-Mohamady (Ismaily), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Mahmoud Alaa, Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh (Zamalek), Ahmed Ayman Mansour, Omar Gaber (Pyramids FC), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly).
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ali Ghazal (C.D. Feirense), Nabil Emad Dunga, Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Walid Soliman (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos).
Strikers: Ahmed Ali (Arab Contractors), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hassan Kouka (Olympiacos). The Chronicle