By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
ZIFA has decided against organising friendly matches for the Warriors ahead of their Fifa World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia next month.
Zimbabwe will also not take part in any regional or international junior tournaments this year.
In a statement, Zifa said the decision not to organise friendly matches was on the advice of the Warriors’ technical team, which felt dates for international friendly matches were too close to the South African tie and they didn’t want to risk players picking up injuries in friendlies.
“Zifa is saddled with preparation for the World Cup qualifiers due in June 2021 against South Africa and Ethiopia as well as senior women’s matches later this year. In the same token, Zifa wishes to inform the nation that it has dropped any plans for the Warriors’ friendly on the advice and request of the technical team, which feels the friendly window dates are too close to the actual qualifiers and may pose challenges such as injuries to key players.
“The Fifa friendly window has been set a few days before the qualifies. The association is now firmly laying the groundwork for football resumption and has quietly invested a lot towards grassroots, youth and women’s football in 2021 and beyond; details of which shall be announced soon,’’ said Zifa in a statement by communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela.
In another development, the association has revived its constitutional review process meant to align the Zifa constitution to the Fifa and Caf statutes.
The process will be held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also rubbished reports that the process is driven by personal agendas by members of the executive committee.
“The last Zifa constitution was last amended in 2013 and there is therefore, a need to refresh the now outdated supreme laws of our game locally. Zifa would like to state that this noble and necessary exercise, which is being monitored and has the full backing of world football governing body Fifa, was stalled in 2020 due to Covid-19 challenges. It is now proceeding virtually in full compliance with Covid-19 regulations.
“The association would therefore, want to allay any fears that there are hidden non-football, but personal agendas in respect of this process, and that a committee put in place for that purpose has been mandated to spearhead the process in line with the association’s constitutional provisions. It is expected that the committee will present its draft to the Zifa council during the 2021 annual general meeting,’’ read a Zifa statement. The Chronicle