The Herald (Harare)

24 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Warriors Troop in for Benjani Match

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
African Footballer of the Year and Manchester City midfielder Yaya expressed his full support on Benjani Mwaruwari testimonial match.

THE build-up to the Benjani Mwaruwari testimonial at the National Sports Stadium will gain momentum on the local front today when Zimbabwe's Warriors troop into camp ahead of Saturday's high profile game. A galaxy of Benjain's friends including Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor will line up against the Warriors in the encounter in which the former Zimbabwe captain will play for both sides in either half.

The Warriors, some of whose foreign legion are now in the country deferred going into camp follwing a request by Premiership clubs to give their players a chance to fulfil mid-week fixtures.

Warriors interim manager Nyika Chifamba was hopeful that most of the foreign-based players who are back home would turn up for the camp.

"The team is getting into camp tomorrow (today).

"I am hopeful that the foreign based players who are around and will be able to come.

"The locally based players are coming after their matches tomorrow (today).

"Our camp was postponed from earlier this week after coaches from the PSL requested to have their players for the mid-week games. Even the coaches will now be available," said Chifamba.

Coach Rahman Gumbo is expected to have his first work out tomorrow with German-based talisman Knowledge Musona, who is back home, set to be among the players.

Big Moroka Swallow utility Oscar Machapa is also home after helping his team to finish second in the South African Premiership behind winners Orlando Pirates.

On Saturday, the Warriors will get a rare opportunity of playing against some of the African stars when they play in the testimonial.

Mwaruwari will feature for the Warriors during one half of the match and then switch to play with his friends during the other half.

Among the other African football stars expected in Harare tomorrow will be Danny Shittu who plays for Queens Park Rangers and the Super Eagles and Pascal Chimbonda, a former French international who, at his peak, played for Spurs.

Some of the stars confirmed their participation in the testimonial match on videos posted on You Tube.

During their visit to Zimbabwe, the football stars will participate in the launch of the Benjani Mwaruwari Foundation. The foundation has already taken shape with the staging of the Benjani Mwaruwari Football Festival that was won by Bantu Rovers Under-16 at White City on Sunday.

While the African stars will head back to their bases after the match, the Warriors will remain in camp for a busy period next month.

The Warriors will face Guinea in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on June 3 before they travel to Mozambique for a similar mission a week later.

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