Mambas turn to Lesotho after Warriors snub


Zimbabwe turned down a proposal to play a preparatory match against Mozambique this weekend.

The Mozambique Football Federation reached out to their Zimbabwe counterparts earlier this month inviting the Warriors for a friendly.

According to a letter dated May 6, the Mozambicans were keen on hosting the Warriors in Maputo and had offered to cater for their accommodation and food.

The Mambas, just like the Warriors, are involved in the second round of the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers that were postponed to September.

“It is with great pleasure that Mozambique Football Association is inviting the senior football team of Zimbabwe for a friendly match to be played in Maputo on the weekend of June 5/6 2021,” read part of the letter.

“The Mozambique Football Federation will cater for accommodation and food for the proposed friendly match.

“The Mozambique Football Association will field our full senior team for the World Cup matches later in the year.”

The Mambas will now host Lesotho on Wednesday before taking on Eswatini next week.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will be inactive during this period, a setback the Zimbabwe Football Association [Zifa] blames on the lack of time and resources.

“The abrupt postponement of (World Cup qualifying) matches was too short a notice for us to organise matches, in line with standard operating procedures, during the pandemic.

“We do not have adequate time at this stage to agree with other Member Associations for a friendly match, and to get necessary approvals even if we wanted to play.

“The Sport and Recreation Commission requires a 30-day notice for us to be allowed to organise an international match while Fifa requires a 21-day notice for us to get authorisation to organise an international friendly,” explained Zifa spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela.

Zimbabwe are in Group G of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers alongside Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Bafana Bafana play Uganda’s Cranes in a friendly international match on June 10 at Orlando Stadium.

The match against the East Africans will be the first for Bafana since the final Afcon qualifying match against Sudan in Khartoum on 29 March which South Africa lost 2-0.

It forms part of the national team’s preparations for the upcoming qualifiers and will give new coach Hugo Broos the opportunity to assess his squad.

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By FARPost Reporter

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