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Date: 24 March 2019

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Warriors to honour CECAFA invitation?

[Posted 16 Nov 2011]
[By Beezsports Reporter]
Warriors to honour CECAFA invitation?

Zimbabwe Warriors' participation at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup is now in serious doubt after the country they were meant to replace, Malawi, have now decided to take part in the tournament after initially indicating they had pulled out due to financial constraints.

Zifa have confirmed having received the invitation from Cecafa, but that no decision has been taken yet as to whether the Warriors will participate in the competition or not.

"I can confirm we received an invitation to participate but we are going to consult with the board on the way forward. In a few days' time we will have a position.

"We look forward to participating in such tournaments as a build up to next year's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and they help the technical team in coming up with a strong pool of players by having a chance to assess the local players," Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze said.

Organisers of Cecafa invited the Warriors after the Flames withdrew, but over the weekend, the government of Malawi offered to fund the team, and the Flames could by now have confirmed with the tournament's organisers that they are back in the competition.

Nyasa Times of Malawi confirms the latest developments on its website.

"In a dramatic twist of events, government says it has approved and will fund Malawi’s participation at this year’s Cecafa senior challenge cup slated for Tanzania from November 25.

"Over the weekend, the National Sports Council recommended to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to reconsider participation because of the limited time available to prepare and seek approval following Cecafa’s late invitation.

"But on Tuesday, Sports minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda told reporters that Malawi will be part of the show this year and that government will shoulder part of the expenses believed to be around K8 million while Cecafa will also help on the other hand," wrote Jeden Chilikunzako of Nyasa Times on Wednesday.

Malawi players are expcted to be in camp by Sunday to prepare for the tournament.

What should happen to the Warriors invitation now?

Well, there are three possibilities. First possibility is that Zimbabwe might opt to withdraw from the competition because they have not yet figured out if they have the necessary resources to take part anyway.

Secondly, it is possible that since Zimbabwe has not yet confirmed their participation, and Cecafa tournament organisers could write Zifa and advise them it is nolonger possible for them to travel to Tanzania because Malawi have now confirmed their participation.

Third possibility is that Cecafa might decide to accommodate both Malawi and Zimbabwe should Zifa also confirm that they are eager to send the Warriors to gain the much needed match practice ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Burundi, and the 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifiers.

The Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup is reserved for Central and East African nations, and Zimbabwe have been invited to participate in the tournament on a number of times before, with the last one being in 2009 when they could only manage to go as far as the quarte-finals, before they were eliminated by little Rwanda.

If Zimbabwe were to replace Malawi, they would ben placed in Group C, which has some of the strongest teams in the region, Kenya and Sudan. Eritria is the third team in the group.


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