DESPITE failure by the Philip Chiyangwa-led Zifa board to organise friendly matches for the senior national team ahead of the African Nations Championships, the Warriors are set to leave for Rwanda on Friday a highly motivated team guaranteed of monetary rewards before even kicking a ball.
By virtue of showing up in Rwanda, the Warriors are guaranteed of $100 000 which the Zifa executive has announced will be split among the players and the football mother-body will not claim a single cent from the rich pickings.
The amount will increase to $125 000 if the Warriors finish their group in third position and $50 000 more should they reach the quarter-finals. Losing semi-finalists will get $250 000 while the runners up will net $400 000.
In the event Callisto Pasuwa and his charges bring smiles to the multitudes of Warriors supporters by clinching their maiden Chan trophy, the $750 000 prize money will be shared by the players.
What other motivation can the Warriors want?
“Just like any other national team, we had our challenges. The boys just need to have mental strength. The team has initially done the nation proud and what can stop them in Rwanda,” quizzed the former Dynamos gaffer.
Zifa had proposed an international friendly against Mozambique and Cameroon but they both failed to materialise.
Pasuwa’s men had a warm-up game against Zimbabwe’s Confederations Cup representatives Harare City whom they beat 3-2 at National Sports Stadium’s B arena.
Pasuwa, who has Knox Mutizwa, Roderick Mutuma, captain Hardlife Zvirekwi, Bruce Kangwa, Lawrence Mhlanga and Blessing Moyo among others to bank on, is unbeaten in six games with the senior men’s team and also qualified the under-23 team for this year’s African Games.
Zimbabwe finished fourth at the 2014 Chan finals and will play in Group D with Mali, Uganda and Zambia at the 2016 edition in Rwanda.
The Warriors are in group D with perennial rivals Zambia, Uganda and Mali.
The team left for Rwanda without skipper Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri, goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya, new FC Platinum striker Hillary Bakacheza and Raphael Kutinyu through injuries and the withdrawal of Chicken Inn central defender Teenage Hadebe.
Although coach Pasuwa has bemoaned lack of friendly matches to test his formations and especially after learning that their opponents Zambia and Uganda were busy last weekend with international preparatory matches, the football fraternity is keeping its fingers crossed the team goes all the way to the finals.
Warriors final 23 man squad named
Tatenda Mukuruva, Donovan Bernard, Elvis Chipezeze, Blessing Moyo, Hard life Zvirekwi, Ocean Mushure, Bruce Kangwa, Lawrence Mhlanga, Elisha Muroiwa, Ronald Chitiyo, Marshall Mudehwe, Stephen Makatuka, Nqobizitha Masuku, Gerald Takwara Edmore Chirambadare, Knox Mutizwa, Moses Demera, , Francesco Zekumbawire,Joel Ngodzo,Raphael Manuvire, William Manondo, Rodrick Mutuma, Farai Madhananga