Saturday, 09 June 2012 12:00
Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
THE Warriors finally left for Mozambique yesterday morning when mining giants Mbada Diamonds came to their rescue with a cheque of US$44 000 to secure the air tickets for the trip. Coach Rahman Gumbo
and his men were supposed to leave on Thursday afternoon for the crucial World Cup qualifier against the Black Mamba but the journey could not take place as Zifa had failed to raise the money for the airfares on time.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique are scheduled to clash in their second match of the qualifiers in Maputo tomorrow and the Warriors will need to keep their heads high after encountering administrative set-backs this week.
Gumbo’s men lost their opening match 0-1 at home against Guinea last week and are desperate to collect points away in Maputo.
But the situation looked gloomy for the team as the travel agent who was handling the trip demanded US$44 000 upfront before availing the tickets.
However, the Warriors had Mbada Diamonds to thank after the mining company, who had initially pledged to assist the players’ welfare, responded swiftly to their plight and availed the money needed to secure the seats.
Mbada Diamonds media liaison officer, Tafadzwa Chiremba, confirmed the company, who initially unveiled US$75 000 for the Warriors this week, chipped in with more money to pay for the air tickets and save the situation.
“Yes, Mbada Diamonds have made a donation to the national team to help meet some of their travel expenses.
“The team is going to represent Zimbabwe and we felt the need to play a part after it came to our attention that they had failed to travel.
“Most importantly we want our team to win.
“Initially, Mbada Diamonds’ pledge was to support the welfare of the players only but when it came to our realisation that they had failed to travel, we sat down and decided to chip in so that the team leaves for Mozambique without failure,” said Chiremba.
Mbada Diamonds, who partnered the national football team in their World Cup campaign ahead of their opening match against Guinea last week, had initially offered to take care of the players’ welfare only.
This included winning bonuses, camping fees, daily allowances and appearance fees.
The sponsorship package for the game against Guinea was worth US$75 000 and this week they announced a similar package for the game against Mozambique this week.
“Last week we provided for the team’s welfare in their game against Guinea, which we unfortunately lost.
“We sat down again and decided to continue with our sponsorship this game so that we help lift their morale,” said Chiremba.