Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo believes the postponement of the AFCON finals to January 2022 will not affect their contract with Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic.
The Croat is back in his home country on holiday.
Yesterday, the CAF executive, after a video conference announced the continental football showpiece will be moved to January 2022.
It had been scheduled for January next year.
The CAF leaders also cancelled the Africa Women Cup of Nations and moved the CHAN finals to January 2021.
The women’s AFCON edition were scheduled for Republic of Congo this November.
The CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup, which are at the semi-final stage, will now be played on one-legged basis in Cameroon and Morocco.
Raja Casablanca will take on Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca will battle Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League fixtures in Cameroon.
The developments mean the Warriors will have to wait longer before they resume their AFCON qualifiers and take on Algeria in back-to-back matches.
The Warriors have four points in the bag they picked in a draw against Botswana at home and a victory in Lusaka.
Unfortunately, for the Mighty Warriors, who were supposed to start their qualifiers in April, having been drawn against Mauritius in the first round, their tournament was cancelled outright.
Kamambo, whose association will also receive a further US$300 000 from CAF to help them deal with the Covid-19 challenges, said the changes will not disrupt their programmes.
The Harare business executive said it will not affect their relationship with Warriors coach Logarusic.
“What we had done, in terms of our contract with the coach, is that we had taken into cognisance that, in the event we are knocked out of the qualifiers early, or in the event of a disaster, he would also work as our assistant technical director,’’ said Kamambo.
“This means he would be helping our TD (technical director Wilson Mutekede) on all the association’s technical work.
“So, we were a bit prophetic there. This means that, whichever team is playing, he should be involved in giving some technical advice.
“He should also assist in youth teams and the grassroots we are reviving, when he returns, and that means he will have to go and assist at such places like Kotwa Academy.
“However, we will see if, at the weekend’s board meeting, some other suggestions might come up.’’ The ZIFA president said his association will reserve, what was meant for national team assignments, in their kitty while using what was earmarked for Covid-19 relief towards such efforts. ZIFA will, in the coming months, receive US$1,8 million from both FIFA and CAF.
“The money is meant for national team travel, we will keep it and use it for travel expenses when we get there,’’ he said.
“We want to maintain stability.’’
Former Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa said the postponement of the AFCON finals was unlikely to have any effect on the national team players.
“The advantage is that the team has been together for quite some time, it must be three years now, and they really understand each other well,’’ said Chidzambwa.
“Age is still on the side for many of our players.
“If you look at the majority of the players, now, their average age is 25.
“The captain (Knowledge Musona), turned 30 this month, so he will turning 32 that year.
“I believe that even if the team regroups, more than a year after their last match, which was the qualifier against Zambia, the players will be able to do well,” said Chidzambwa.
“Every national team has been affected by the lockdown and that means no one has an advantage over the other.
“So, there is no need to panic or to think that, maybe, we will fail to qualify for the next AFCON.’’
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