Zim Warriors Arrive In SA, Unhappy About Long Grass

The Zimbabwe Warriors technical team says it is not happy with the training facilities provided by the South Africa Football Association (SAFA).

The Warriors play against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a  2022 World Cup G qualifier against the host nation at the FNB Stadium on Thursday evening.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare said he was forced to find an alternative training venue after SAFA failed to provide a satisfactory facility.

The Warriors arrived in South Africa on Monday.

On Tuesday the Zimbabweans had their first training session at Sandton Sports Club.

“South Africa (SAFA) offered two training pitches, one is artificial and the other one the grass was too long, they promised to cut it so we didn’t want to take chances,” said Mpandare.

“We had to look for a training pitch and we ended up securing this one that we are training at and obviously we are going to pay for it so it was not provided for by the FA.’’  

The Zimbabwean official also complained that SAFA did not provide a vehicle for the Warriors’ head of delegation on the day Zimbabwe arrived.

“It’s unusual for South Africa to do that, because normally South African and Zimbabwe have cordial relationships and things are smooth. I think someone is sleeping on duty, I don’t think it’s coming from the FA.”

Ideally, the host nation provides training facilities, with the away team also allowed to train at the match venue 24 hours before kickoff.

After the Bafana game, Zimbabwe will host Ethiopia on Sunday.

Group G leaders Bafana, on the other hand, will play against Ghana away – just three days after hosting Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe are out of contention for Qatar 2022 after failing to win a single qualifier in the last four, but will likely look to finish strong as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations in January next year.

On the other hand, South Africa are aiming to get a victory against Zimbabwe.

If Bafana beat the Warriors a draw against Ghana would be enough to progress to the playoff round of the World Cup qualifiers.