ZIMBABWE senior women football team’s preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics second round qualifier against Ivory Coast are in shambles with no training camp scheduled yet, just days before the first leg match in Abidjan.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Mighty Warriors are set to travel to the West African nation in two weeks’ time to play the World Cup finalists, but there is nothing on the ground for the Rosemary Mugadza-coached side to show that they would be playing such a crucial match.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport soon after qualifying for this round last month, women football board member competitions Cecilia Gambe said they wanted the team to camp for at least a month to prepare for the match.
However, indications are that they might not even get a week with Zifa seemingly overwhelmed by other national team obligations.
Zifa, with the help of the government, are currently running around to mobilize funds to charter a plane for the Warriors to travel to Comoros on Saturday.
When asked about their plan for the Mighty Warriors, Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela appeared clueless.
“I’m not sure (when they will get into camp), I will have to find out,” said the association’s spokesperson.
Gambe could not be reached for a comment as she was said to be out of the country yesterday while women football boss Elizabeth Langa was also not available.
Gambe has in recent times been leading efforts to mobilise resources for the team.
A member of the technical team yesterday said they had already drawn up the squad for camp and now waiting for Zifa.
While the Mighty Warriors squad is struggling to get into camp, their next opponents Ivory Coast are fresh from a World Cup sojourn in Canada where they exited in the initial stages.
However, they have already regrouped and started their camp on Monday.
Zimbabwe hosts the return encounter on August 2 with the winner over two legs advancing to face either Ghana or Cameroon in the final qualifying round for a slot to the Rio 2016 football competition.
Ghana are also already in camp, while Cameroon, who had an impressive outing in Canada that saw them qualifying to the second round are expected to begin camp today after a short break.
Meanwhile, women football administrator Theresa Maguraushe left for Canada yesterday for the 6th edition of the Fifa Women World Cup Symposium to be held in Vancouver.
She will watch the final match of the World Cup on Sunday.