Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Government has taken over welfare of the Mighty Warriors in camp ahead of the final round of qualifiers for the Women Africa Cup of Nations against Botswana this month.
Coach Sithethelelwe ‘Kwinji 15’ Sibanda’s squad trooped into camp this week to begin preparations for the crucial qualifier.
The first-leg is set for the National Sports Stadium on February 18 and the return leg will be at Obedi Itani Chilume in Francistown on February 23.
Acting Zifa chief executive officer and spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela and national teams’ general manager Wellington Mpandare both confirmed the Government’s take over of the girls’ camp needs.
Instead of the squad camping at the dilapidated Zifa Village, Government has housed them at one of Harare’s top hotels.
“Yes, it’s true (that the Government is taking care,). They are camped at a hotel in the capital,” said Gwesela.
Mpandare said all was in order for the flagship women’s football team, which is just 180 minutes away from booking a ticket to Morocco where the Women Africa Cup of Nations will be staged.
“They are being well taken care of,” said Mpandare.
Zifa accounts are currently inaccessible following the suspension of the entire executive committee in November last year.
Coach Sibanda called up 30 players into camp, four of whom are based outside the country and are expected to join their colleagues on February 14.
Speaking to Chronicle Sport yesterday, Sibanda expressed satisfaction with camping conditions, which she said will make them put maximum concentration on their preparations.
“So far all is well in camp,” she said.
She, however, is concerned about the girls’ physical fitness levels, but remained hopeful that the training regime put in place would help.
“Mentally they are looking good and want to work, but physically some are low we are working on improving aerobic capacity and generally I am happy wth the response so far,” said Sibanda.
The Mighty Warriors thrashed Eswatini 6-1 on aggregate in the last qualifier to set up a date with Botswana.
Winners of the two-legged encounters will join 10 other winners at the finals in Morocco from July 2-23.
The tournament also doubles up as the African qualifier for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The top four teams in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations will qualify for the World Cup.
Mighty Warriors squad
Lindiwe Magwede (Herentals Queens)
Cynthia Shonga (Harare City Queens)
Precious Mudyiwa (Black Rhinos Queens)
Leona Bhunu (Bulawayo Chiefs)
Nobukhosi Ncube (Correctional Queens)
Moreblessing Bwende (Harare City Queens)
Liliosa Kandemiri (Blue Swallows Queens)
Talent Mukwanda (Herentals Queens)
Eunice Chibanda (Black Rhinos Queens)
Emmaculate Msipa (Fatih Karagümrük Spor Kulübü, Turkey)
Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional Queens)
Alice Moyo (Faith Drive Queens)
Mavis Chirandu, Priviledge Mupeti (Black Rhinos Queens)
Danai Bhobho (Simba Queens, Tanzania)
Ennerty Chemhere (Ubuntu Queens)
Berita Kabwe (Rivers Angels, Nigeria)
Rudo Neshamba (Ramat Hasharon WFC, Israel)
Melody Chikoore (Faith Drive Queens)
Rutendo Makore (Black Rhinos Queens)
Dinah Rose Banda (Queen Lozikeyi Academy),
Natasha Ndowa (Blue Swallows Queens)
Shamiso Mutasa (Herentals Queens)