Japan Finally Decides To Play Zimbabwe

The game, which was cancelled on Monday when it emerged that the Japanese preferred to play Mozambique.

Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya, who is in South Africa as part of a Zimbabwe football leadership delegation ahead of the Fifa Congress, battled hard on Wednesday to secure the friendly international for the Warriors. The Warriors left for South Africa last night

“We are glad to announce that after intensive consultations with our partners we can announce that our Warriors will take on another team that will play at the 2010 World Cup finals in an international friendly,” said Rushwaya.

“We were disappointed when it was announced that Mozambique would take our slot because we remained convinced that we did everything according to expectations and indicated that we were ready for the game,.” Rushwaya said.

The Warriors will take on their Japanese opponents at Quillington Sports Park in George.

She said although the Japanese Football Association was funding the whole trip, Zimbabwe had also invested some money into the country’s junior development programmes.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe took their first step in engaging a foreign coach when the government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Germany government.

The MoU is set to be signed by the Minister of Sports Culture David Coltart and the Germany Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Abrecht Conze on Thursday.

The vacancy of Warriors coach became available on May 3 following the resignation of Sunday “Mhofuí” Chidzambwa who moved to South Africa’s Free State Stars.

The signing of the MoU is set to bring Klaus-dieter Pagels (60). He is expected in the country in August this year.
Under the government-to-government agreement between the Harare and Berlin Pagels could become the new Warriors coach.

The German schoolteacher was in Zimbabwe for a fact-finding mission on how to improve local football last year.

The football mother body, ZIFA, do not have the money to hire a foreign coach and this government initiative is their only option to tie up an expatriate.

This is the second that the Zimbabwe will benefit from government-to-government. The late Reinhard Fabisch was engaged under the same agreement and coached the popular Dream Team 1992, which almost qualified for the 1994 USA World Cup after being beaten by Cameroon in the qualifiers.

E. Sibanda, W. Arubi, A. Sadiki, M. Mwanjali, K. Banda, Z. Ngodzo, G. Mapemba, Q. Amini, A. Rambanapasi, L. Mtizwa, R. Zhuwawo, W. Katsande, B. Ncube, B. Marere, N. Mushekwi, C. Malajila, E. Gwekwerere, G. Zhokinyi, T. Rusike, R. Mteki, G. Banda