ZIFA insists that despite Zimbabwe Warriors being a regular at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, they should make sure they qualify for the bigger tournament which is the Africa Cup of Nations 2017.
Zimbabwe will go into battle in Rwanda from 16 January to 7 February at the Chan tournament whose rules are that only locally based players take part. But nothing short of a qualification for the Afcon 2017 will complete Zimbabwe’s recovery story.
“ Our Warriors have no option but to qualify for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
Last September, Zimbabwe put a dent on the team’s chances of qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group when goalkeeper Washington Arubi gifted Guinea with an easy goal just 60 seconds into a match that was played at Rufaro Stadium.
The Warriors have four points from two matches after beating Malawi in their opener in July 2015 while Swaziland remained on top due to a better goal difference with the same number of points after they drew 2-2 at home against Malawi.
Malawi and Guinea have a point each. The Warriors face Swaziland in their next match away while Guinea play host to Malawi.
Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will also feature in the 2016 Cosafa Cup in Namibia. Since its inception in 1997, Zimbabwe and Zambia have won four titles each, while South Africa and Angola have each won on three occasions.