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Saturday, May 25, 2024

ZIFA unveils 2026 World Cup roadmap

Story by Anashe Murombedzi

THE Zimbabwe Football Association Normalisation Committee has unveiled the roadmap to assemble a competitive Warriors squad ahead of the World Cup qualifiers which get underway next month.

Doors have been opened for local football players to turn their dreams into reality, playing for the national team.

With Zimbabwe having returned to international football after an 18-month suspension by the world football governing body, FIFA, the ZIFA Normalisation Committee (NC) is set to utilise the upcoming international break to come up with a competitive Warriors squad.

The window period will begin next Monday and last until the 18th of this month.

The ZIFA Normalisation Committee is organising a first-ever tournament that will give the Warriors technical team a platform to scout for new blood.

“We have come up with a sort of a selectional tournament made up of local players from the Northern and Southern regions and players from the diaspora who feel they can bring something to the team, and this is the right time to get an opportunity to participate. We are not going to include experienced players, we want those who have not played for the national team,” said ZIFA NC member, Rosemary Mugadza.

Players drawn from four teams, including the Northern Region led by Dynamos Coach Genesis Mangombe, the Southern Region led by former Hwange Coach Bongani Mafu, the Diaspora team made up of foreign-based players and the People’s Choice team that will be voted by football fans, will scramble for a place in the national team.

The tournament will be played at the National Sports Stadium during the FIFA international break on dates to be announced.

The top two teams will proceed to the final where coach Baltermer Brito is set to pick his hunters that will join experienced players such as Marvelous Nakamba, Tinotenda Kadewere and Mashall Munetsi in the Warriors squad.

The Warriors will then go into camp to prepare for a friendly encounter against Botswana before travelling to Rwanda for their first World Cup qualifier next month.

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