Japan Shuns Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Football Association and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority were jointly trying to lure the Japanese to play the senior national team. However Japan had decided to play Mozambique in George, South Africa on Thursday.

Zifa board member in charge of competitions, Benedict Moyo, revealed the Japanese, who had initially proposed to play the Warriors, would now play Mozambique.

The Warriors drew global attention last Wednesday when they hosted five-time world champions Brazil in a high-profile international friendly at the National Sports Stadium, which attracted a huge crowd at the giant facility.

Zimbabwe  through the ZTA is reported to have forked out US$2,5 million in bringing Brazil.

Although the Samba Boys ran out comfortable 3-0 winners it was not before the Warriors had given Kaka, Robinho and their fellow global stars a good run for their money.

Now, barely a week after they hosted their biggest international match in terms of profile, the Warriors had been offered another dream game which would have been Japan’s final warm-up before they kick-start their World Cup Group E campaign.

Japan will begin their World Cup campaign with a tough assignment against African giants Cameroon in Bloemfontein on June 14.

They will also face European sides Holland at the Moses Mabidha Stadium in Durban on June 19 and Denmark in Rustenburg on June 24 in their other group games.

Moyo said his board had agreed over the weekend to engage the Japanese World Cup squad in George.

He, however, could not shed light on the reasons behind Japan’s decision to settle for Mozambique arguing that he was still to receive official communication on the latest developments by last night.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe football legend Moses Chunga is among the African football legends who will attend a special African Legends dinner in Midrand, Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

Kinetic Sports Management will host the African Legends gala dinner will take place at the Vodaworld Events in Midrand.

The keynote speakers at the dinner will be  Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football and  Kristen Nematandani, president of the South African Football Association. More than 300 people from the world of football and business are expected to attend.

As South Africa hosts the continent’s first World Cup, this exclusive dinner is designed to honour the heroes who made African football what it is today. South Africa 2010 could not have been possible without the contributions of footballers such as: Kalusha Bwalya, Badou Zaki, Salif Keita, Osei Kofi, Joe Kadenge, to name but a few of the icons scheduled to grace the occasion.

With a legend seated at each table, guests will get the chance to interact and ask questions as they enjoy great food, live music and entertainment.

The Premier Soccer League will take a break during the quarter finals stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The domestic league  have been split over taking a break during the month long soccer showcase following fears that fans would opt to watch the World Cup in the comfort of their homes.

They were also fears that the local league would spill into next year during it go into recess during the World Cup.  The local clubs also complained that they stood to lose revenue if they take a break during the World Cup.

The domestic league is also set to be affected by the 2012 African Nations Cup campaign. The Warriors start their campaign in the Nations Cup on September 5 against Liberia.

The World Cup runs from June 11 to July 11. The quarter final stages are penciled to start on July 26.

Twine Phiri, the Premier Soccer League said they had resolved to take a break during the quarter finals of the World Cup.

Meanwhile the government has taken delivery 70 plasma screens which been installed at World Cup fans parks in the country. Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Engineer Walter Mzemb said the  television sets were imported from China.