WARRIORS coach Ian Gorowa will today name the final 23-member squad for the 2014 Orange African Nations Championships (Chan) finals that kick off in South Africa on January 11.
Warriors manager Sharif Mussa said they were still deciding on the final team.
“We are still deliberating on the team. There are a couple of areas that we are looking at and I am not sure what time we will finish; so I can safely say tomorrow (today) will be the best day to get the team,” Mussa said yesterday evening.
According to the rules of the competition, today is the final day for Zifa to send the team to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) general secretariat, giving the Warriors technical more time to finalise their deliberations.
Chapter 34, Article 64,1 and 64,2 of the rules on list of players for the final tournament reads: “Ten days before the first match of the final tournament, a list of a maximum of 23 players chosen obligatorily from the previous list communicated to Caf should reach the secretariat and the concerned teams.
“A violation of this stipulation will entail the payment of $3 000 to Caf by the violating association. No change can be introduced in the list of the 23 players except in cases of force majeure recognised as such by the organising committee.
“A player on the final list cannot be substituted unless he is seriously injured 24 hours at the latest before the start of the first match of his team.
“His substitution must be approved in writing by the medical committee of Caf, after reception and acceptation of a detailed medical certificate.”
The first match takes place on January 11 between the hosts South Africa and Mozambique at 6pm at the Cape Town Stadium after the opening ceremony.
After Bruce Kangwa, Silas Songani and Misheck Mburayi opted out, Gorowa has little headache as he was left with 27 players in camp and only needs to release an unlucky four after two weeks of intensive training.
The Warriors will be captained by Dynamos defender Patson Jaure, who has two deputies in Highlanders’ Masimba Mambare and Chicken Inn’s Felix Chindungwe.
Soccer star of the year Tawanda Muparati is in the team together with second runner-up Kuda Mahachi. Top goalscorer in the Premier Soccer League last season Tendai Ndoro has joined Mpumalanga Black Aces in South Africa.
Simba Sithole and Oscar Machapa, who both recently returned from spells in South Africa at SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows respectively, are also expected to make the cut together with How Mine’s Simba Sithole.
From FC Platinum, Gorowa has the man who ensured the Warriors’ qualification for the final with that sweet strike against Zambia at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Charles Sibanda together with his teammates Ali Sadiki and Nelson Maziwisa.
On Monday, the Warriors received a cash boost of $88 000 from the government, from the $354 000 budget with a promise that the rest of the money will be made available in due course.
Already, Zifa has tied a technical sponsorship deal with British sportswear company Umbro for the finals, although the partnership could be extended to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Warriors leave on January 7 in the morning and will engage Gabon in their final preparatory match in Johannesburg the same evening before flying out to Cape Town, where they will be based.
The Warriors are in Group B. They will open their account against Morocco at the Athlone Stadium on January 12 before facing Uganda on January 16. Four days later, they will wind up their campaign in the group stages against Burkina Faso.
In the last two editions in Ivory Coast in 2009 and Sudan in 2011 under Sunday Chidzambwa and Madinda Ndlovu respectively, the Warriors fell at the group stages, but would be looking to finally reach the knockout stages under Gorowa.
Final squad from:
George Chigova (Dynamos), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders), T Dube (Caps United), Max Nyamupanedengu (Harare City)
Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Oscar Machapa (Dynamos), Felix Chindungwe (Chicken Inn, vice-captain), Temba Ndlovu (Dynamos), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Patson Jaure (Dynamos, captain), Milton Ncube (Highlanders), Augustine Mbara (Dynamos)
Pascal Manhanga (Triangle), Danny Phiri (Chicken Inn), Tawanda Muparati (Dynamos), Charles Sibanda (FC Platinum), Peter Moyo (Highlanders), Masimba Mambare (Highlanders vice captain), Kuda Mahachi (Chicken Inn), Frankson Bushire (Shabanie Mine), Wonder Kapinda (Black Rhinos)