By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Zimbabwe’s Football Association (ZIFA) has denied local reports that the team was considering boycotting Friday’s opening match against Africa Cup of Nations hosts Egypt in Cairo over a pay dispute.
“ZIFA would like to reiterate that the Warriors have remained focused ahead of opening Group A match against Egypt,” the governing body said in a statement published late on Thursday. “ZIFA and Warriors have signed a contract and both parties will honour and respect all contractual obligations,” it added.
According to Zimbabwean media, the national team was threatening to boycott the Egypt encounter over a dispute with ZIFA officials about daily allowances and bonuses.
“Warriors have not ventured in any industrial action or strike as reported in some social media circles,” ZIFA said.
Musonza reported that players were locked in talks late on Thursday and that some players had “booked their flights home”. He further alleged that the team was demanding US$9000 before 13:00 on Friday – or they would refuse to play. Later, he shared a Tweet saying the “impasse is over, about US$9200 is reflecting in some players’ bank accounts”.
Zimbabwe are appearing at the tournament for the fourth time and have never advanced beyond the first round.