Warriors-Malawi friendly yet to be cleared

By Skilder Makona

Uncertainty shrouds Zimbabwe’s international friendly against Malawi with the local soccer mother body -ZIFA yet to get government approval for the team to travel to Lilongwe, while coach, Zdravko Logarušić is still out of the country.

With less than seven days to go before the proposed international friendly against the Flames of Malawi in Lilongwe on the 11th of this month, the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team is still in the dark on whether they will travel to the neighboring country amid revelations that the government is yet to approve the trip.

As if that is not enough, national team coach, Zdravko Logarušić is still in his native, Croatia, and yet to announce the traveling squad.

Logarušić was expected in the country at the weekend but ZIFA Spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela confirmed in a telephone conversation that the Warriors gaffer is not yet in the country.

Gwesela said he will be available on Tuesday to speak on the team’s preparations and other logistics, but there are
indications that the absence of government approval is the main stumbling block.

ZIFA president Felton Kamambo late last week said they are yet to get a response after sending a proposal through the Sports and Recreation Commission for approval.

“We are set to play Malawi and we have since sent our proposal to SRC for approval. From our side we are ready but for now, we are just waiting for government approval to proceed with our logistics for the proposed friendly.”

In the event that ZIFA gets government approval on time, the Warriors are expected to travel to Malawi either this week with all the players and officials tested for COVID-19 in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines.

Meanwhile, ZIFA is understood to have already sent invitation letters to the selected foreign-based players for the Malawi tie.

The international friendly against the Flames is part of the Warriors’ preparations for the back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria next month.