Zimbabwe: 'Chan Success Is Part of Our Vision'

22 October 2019

The Zimbabwe Football Association Board extends its hearty congratulations to the senior men's national team for their qualification to the 2020 African Nations Championship finals.

This was after yet another dominant performance over Lesotho in the final qualifier on Sunday in which the locally-based Warriors drew 0-0 and progressed to the final tournament on a 3-1 aggregate.

Special mention goes to the technical team and all players who participated in the qualifiers.

We see Sunday's achievement as yet another journey that ensures that all our national teams are always playing against the best on the continent.

As we celebrate this Warriors success, it's important to reflect on the painful road that this group of Warriors travelled towards qualification.

Some hawks created one problem after another for ZIFA, especially the garnishing of bank accounts.

We also had challenges where at times certain stakeholders would withdraw their services under pressure, at the last minute.

This negatively impacted on our planning but the association worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges.

The gallant Warriors would still play, even in situations where their allowances were outstanding. ZIFA is, forever, grateful for such commitment and vows to settle all outstanding obligations as soon as possible.

Great appreciation goes to executive committee members who remained united and even forked out personal resources towards the realisation of the Warriors' dream to qualify for the CHAN finals.

We also want to pay particular tribute to our hardworking secretariat.

Often, they suffer from delayed salaries and are overstretched seeing that they are a lean staff often multi-tasking, but they have managed to produce results against all odds.

They are our unsung heroes.

Our partners, ZINWA, supported us with water and Herentals College with their team bus.

We thank you all.

We also thank the media for their continued support of the game.

They stood with us during the painful period and indeed understood our challenges.

We cannot forget the supporters who, despite economic challenges, came to support the team. Some even travelled to Lesotho over the weekend to cheer the Warriors.

The ZIFA Board is eternally grateful for their continued support.

We will hasten to add that this qualification for Cameroon was yet another fine finish to the journey started by Rahman Gumbo two months ago against Mauritius and we appreciate his efforts when he was in charge.

It was not all rosy, the road was bumpy, the economic challenges that the country is going through affected everyone and ZIFA was not spared.

But for those that stayed with us on this road, we are forever grateful.

The qualification of the Warriors comes (against) the background of continued efforts to strengthen the local league, starting from junior development to the top flight.

The competition that exists among players is healthy for progress and is the barometer with which we gauge our progress in the game.

The ZIFA Board will further intensify its efforts to develop football from area zones to national level and, with continued support from FIFA, CAF and all our stakeholders, this is certainly an achievable target.

Let us, therefore, put our heads together, cast aside all differences and put all hands on deck to meet these targets.

We have no doubt that the current crop of players is motivated to excel in the finals in Cameroon in 2020 to market themselves and earn contracts in lucrative leagues.

A high number of players in prestigious leagues means a better Warriors team for the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in future.

The ZIFA Board encourages the group of players who have taken us to the CHAN finals to go out there and make a mark for themselves and make the nation proud.

The sky is the limit.

Having achieved this feat, we now set our eyes on new targets; that of ensuring the Warriors go beyond group stages of the tournament.

With this in mind, efforts to ensure the team will be adequately prepared and resourced for Cameroon must start now and we strongly believe that we have the talent to reach our goals and market our players.

Once again, we pay tribute to the Warriors technical team, the players, the fans and all stakeholders involved in making the journey to the Cameroon finals a resounding success.

Felton Kamambo is the ZIFA president

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