Zim miss out on friendlies

Zimbabwe had planned to play the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Harare but that match, or a replacement, failed to materialise as there was no follow-up from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa). The Simbas, as the DRC are known, had said they wanted to play the Warriors on their way to South Africa for another friendly international against Bafana Bafana.

And so on a day that saw, among others, Bafana Bafana away to the Braves at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, the Atlas Lions of Morocco at home to the Stallions of Burkina Faso in Rabat, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon against the Syli National of Guinea at the Stade Robert Diochon in France, Cote d’Ivoire playing Senegal and Ghana facingTogo, the Warriors were rendered television spectators and radio audiences.

The countries were using the friendly internationals as tune-ups ahead of the first matches of the 2008 African Cup of Nations qualification series. For example, South Africa host Congo in a continental qualifier in Johannesburg on the 2nd of next month, while Morocco open their Group 12 qualification campaign at home to the Flames of Malawi.

In Europe, England, Germany, Italy and Russia also took advantage of the Fifa-reserved day to have international friendly matches as they embark on new eras under new coaches.

In Oslo, while hosts Norway were looking at maintaining their unbeaten run against five-time world champions Brazil, new Selecao coach Dunga, who took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira who is now in charge of Bafana Bafana, wanted to give new players a chance and start building for the future.

Zimbabwe is now working on a friendly international against Equatorial Guinea in Harare at the end of next month.

This would then give coach Charles Mhlauri the chance to fine-tune his charges ahead of the Warriors’ first Group 12 qualifier for Ghana 2008 which is away to regional rivals Malawi on the 7 October, 2006.

August 2006
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