Windfall for Mighty Warriors

FORMER Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu has heaped praise on the ZIFA Normalisation Committee for rewarding the Mighty Warriors in the recent Cosafa Women’s Championship held in Gauteng,South Africa.

The national senior women’s side finished fourth in the regional tournament which was won by Malawi at the Lucas Moripe Stadium last Sunday, on their return to international football following a two-year absence due to a FIFA suspension.

Each of the 21 players who were in South Africa for the competition received at least US$2000 in daily allowances, appearance fees and winning bonuses.

Winning bonus was pegged at US$200 per match while each player got US$250 in appearance fees while about US$50 was the daily allowance.

The Mighty Warriors played a total of five matches at the 11-day jamboree, winning two and losing as many while one game ended in a stalemate.

They were in Group C of the contest where they beat Lesotho (1-0) and Namibia (2-0) before settling for a 1-1 draw in their final pool match against Botswana. With seven points to their name, the Shadreck Mlauzi girls progressed as the group winners and met Zambia in the semi-finals.

They did put a commendable fight coming against the defending champions but eventually came short, losing 1-0 at the end.

They then contested for bronze against Mozambique and lost 2-0.

But their spirited show for a team that was assembled barely two weeks before the start of the tournament having not played together for close to two years won them critical acclaim.

This is the first time that the Mighty Warriors have had contracts honoured in the history of the women’s game in this country.

Speaking at the dinner organised by the Zimbabwean embassy to South Africa and Zororo-Phumulani in Sandton on Sunday night, Ndlovu hailed the normalisation committee and implored that footballers needed to be incentivised for motivation.

“Firstly let me congratulate you for the job well done. You came into this Cosafa Women’s Championship as one of the underdogs given where we are coming from as a country,” said Ndlovu.

“You hadn’t been playing international football for close to two years and just to come and participate in this increasingly competitive tournament was a show of commitment and great character.

“And to have done as well as you did was special. No one gave you a chance given that you have not been active in international football.

“I would like to thank the normalisation committee for pulling all the stops in their bid to see to see it that football is firmly back.

“Incentivising the players also motivates them and they will be ready to out their heads on the block. That’s their profession and they ought to be rewarded”.

The Mighty Warriors will be looking to better their performance in the next Cosafa tournament since they cannot take any part in the Women’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers whose draw was conducted at a time Zimbabwe were still on FIFA sanctions.

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