By Eddie Chikamhi
Warriors’ goalkeeper George Chigova says it feels good to be back in the World Cup as Zimbabwe yesterday were drawn to face minnows, Somalia, in the two-legged preliminary round qualifiers set for September.
The big goalkeeper said Zimbabwe will not underrate the East Africans because of their poor ranking which places them at the bottom of the pile on the Caf rankings.
“First of all, it’s good to be back in the World Cup qualifiers. It was really painful to miss the 2018 edition but there was really nothing we could do about it as players,” said Chigova.
“Those were circumstances beyond our control. It’s every player’s dream to play in the World Cup games and to qualify for the finals.
“So, it’s a great opportunity, we will take it up from there. Of course, Somalia may not have a big profile in football but we will respect them the same way we look at any other opponent.
“We are not going to look at their rankings because football is full of surprises.”
Caf yesterday conducted the draw for the preliminary round featuring the 28 teams who occupy the bottom rungs in African football rankings.
According to the format, the 26 highest-ranked teams in Africa in the latest Fifa rankings released last week, were exempted from the preliminary round.
Zimbabwe looked like they would also get a bye into the group stages set to begin in March next year but they dropped to 27th place last week and joined the teams marked for the preliminary round.
“It’s unfortunate we have to begin in the preliminaries but it also has its advantages.
“One of the advantages is that you get to play two games before the group stage and it helps in terms of shaping the team.
“My hope and wish is to be part of the first group of the Warriors to qualify for the biggest tournament, the Fifa World Cup. It is possible, we just have to take it one game at a time,” said Chigova. The Chronicle