Warriors’ benefactor Wicknell Chivayo says there will be no repeat of the shoddy preparations that characterised Zimbabwe’s trip to Conakry to face Guinea in Sunday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The Warriors only left Harare on Saturday evening on a chartered Air Zimbabwe plane after the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) had failed to secure flights in time for the match.
On Friday evening, Zifa had even written to Caf secretary-general Hicham El Amrani requesting for the match to be postponed to a later date since time was running out.
However, Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa and NetOne finally mobilised resources to charter the plane.
The team only arrived in Conakry early Sunday morning before going on to lose the match 1-0.
Chivayo, who had travelled to the West African country early last week and watched the match at the Stade 28 Septembre, said they will work hard to ensure the Warriors’ preparations for the finals in Gabon are adequate.
“I think there was just a mix-up but what is important is that the team arrived and fulfilled the match,” Chivayo said regarding the team’s late arrival.
We will make sure that the oversight is avoided in future. And before the Afcon finals start in Gabon we want to make sure that they camp somewhere for at least two weeks.
“As the sponsor, I remain committed to supporting them at all times.
“I have been speaking to Chiyangwa and the head of delegation (Felton Kamambo) here and the coach Kalisto Pasuwa; they have all been saying the same thing that the team needs more friendly international matches.
“What is important is the finance to ensure that the team travels on time and camp for these friendly matches.
“We are hoping to facilitate and make sure that we play those friendly matches prior to the Gabon tournament.”
The Harare businessman, who has interests in the renewable energy and transport sectors, admitted the late arrival had disrupted the Warriors’ game plan against the Syli Nationale.
“The second half was good. There was a great improvement, but you could clearly see that the players were not used to the pitch,” Chivayo, who has poured over $1 million into the Warriors, said.
“It was very important that they should have come a few days before and get acclimatised to the weather conditions here.
“Over and above all, I am still very happy that they played a good game and we are now looking at preparing to go to Gabon.