Warriors camp on fire

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ANOTHER day, another tournament, different venue, different opponents, but same old story of the chaos characterising Warriors’ camps ahead of crucial ties.

ALBERT MARUFU
SPORTS REPORTER

With Tanzania standing between them and a further stay in the 2015 qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium, the Warriors yesterday made fresh financial demands to Zifa, turning around from what they had previously agreed.

The Warriors will go into the match looking at erasing an eight-year absence from the continental showpiece, but events on the ground where they briefly boycotted training points towards that same script of failure which had apparently been exorcised following their debut appearance in 2004 under Sunday Chidzambwa.

Carrying a 0-1 deficit going into the second leg on home soil, the Warriors might have brought a self-foot shooting season upon themselves as this is a must-win match for them.

After their opponents Tanzania were locked out of their hotel after Zifa’s failure to pay the required funds on Friday, the Warriors’ threatened not to fulfil today’s fixture unless their fresh financial demands were met by Zifa.

When our sister paper StandardSport visited the team’s lodge in the city yesterday, the Warriors’ entire technical team, among them head coach Ian Gorowa, Kalisto Pasuwa, Gift Muzadzi, Richard Tswatswa, Nick Munyonga, was standing outside engrossed in a meeting.

Gorowa was not happy with the paper’s visit and vented his anger on the guard who had let the crew in.

“Why did you let them in? This is a private lodge and people should not be freely allowed to enter,” he fumed at the security guard.

To the reporters he said; “Why are you here? You cannot just come here without first informing us. Right now we are in the middle of a meeting. OK, I will talk to you after our meeting.”

Team manager Sharrif Mussa confirmed that the Warriors camp was on fire as the players were backtracking on their earlier agreement with the association.

“Issues to do with money are not new at all. The players and Zifa had agreed on a fee for this match, but the players are now turning back demanding more money. We are surprised by the players’ actions and we do not know where all this is coming from. Though they trained, we do not know where their demands are coming from. Unfortunately I can’t tell you the figures they are demanding,” Mussa said.

News of discontent in the Warriors camp have certainly come at a wrong time especially with the absence of the injured proven goalscorers Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Peter Moyo.

However, though the final 18 was still to be decided by last night, Willard Katsande, Ovidy Karuru, Edward Sadomba and Tendai Ndoro — if they make Gorowa’s team — might be the fulcrum of his team.

While the Warriors camp was burning the Tanzanians seemed to be quietly reading themselves for a seemingly shocking victory. The “Taifa Stars” have in their ranks the TP Mazembe players Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu who jetted into the country on Friday.

John Bocco, scorer of what might turn to be the decisive goal in Tanzania two weeks ago is also in the team giving coach Mart Nooj something to smile about.