HARARESports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane and ZIFA President Phillip Chiyangwa met with the Warriors team in Harare on Wednesday to boost their morale ahead of their Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier this Easter holiday.
Zimbabwe Football Association spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela says Hlongwane and Chiyangwa wanted to also make sure that all is well in the Warriors camp.
“The Sports Minister came to encourage the players to fly the flag high for Zimbabwe and bring pride back in the game and this really lifted the morale of the team and will hopefully translate into a win as many soccer fans are anxiously waiting for a positive result from Swaziland, said Gwesela.
He said preparations for the teams Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland are now at an advanced stage with most of the foreign-based players called in to boost the team in the country for the crucial match.
Gwesela added that three other foreign-based players called up for the tie were not able to make it but are expected to be part of the squad in the near future.
“Coach Callisto Pasuwa called in Brenda Galloway who unfortunately could not be part of the team as he has been called up to represent England’s under 21, Tendai Darikwa couldn’t make it also due to family commitments and Macauley Bonne who plays for Colchester in Britain is processing his immigration papers to enable him to play for Zimbabwe in the future,” added Gwesela.
The Warriors go into the encounter with match fixing allegations still haunting some players and administrators but Gwesela was quick to point out that this will not deter the team from putting their best foot forward and upsetting Swaziland.
“Pasuwa and the technical team have been counselling the team on the dangers of match fixing and so far indications are that they have put the incident behind them and will thrive for a win in Swaziland,” said Gwesela.
The Warriors, who are tied on four points with their rivals in Group L after two games, travel to Swaziland for a match on Good Friday before a return match in Harare on Easter Monday.
“Zimbabwe beat the Flames of Malawi 2-1 in the first match before drawing 1-1 with Guinea on home turf and we hope that the pep talk from the sports minister and ZIFA president will translate into a win so that we can make it to the Nations Cup in Gabon,” said Gwesela.