Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE Warriors and the Young Warriors are still to get their training and playing kits from their new technical partner Umbro with just a few days before they plunge into crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The delivery of the consignment, which also should include 50 000 replicas for distribution to the fans, is running behind time.
It appears many of the fans will not be able to buy Umbro replicas when the Warriors host Congo in a decisive Group G match on Sunday.
ZIFA have been quiet on the issue even as the Young Warriors began camp last week for the back-to-back Under-23 AFCON qualifier against Mozambique.
The Young Warriors are scheduled to leave for Mozambique tomorrow for an important campaign that could culminate in them playing at the 2020 Olympic Games.
They play the Mambas on Friday in Maputo before returning home for the second leg next Tuesday at the National Sports Stadium.
ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, yesterday maintained Umbro were working to fulfil the commitment to avail the supplies, with the playing and training kits for the national teams expected today.
“I cannot talk about the replicas at the moment but the issue of kits is something that is under control,’’ he said.
“As we speak right now, the kits (for both the Under-23 and the senior teams) are actually on the way and we expect the deliveries earliest tomorrow (today).’’
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo and chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, are believed to be in South Africa to deal with the crisis.
Sources told The Herald the ZIFA executive turned down a home kit which Umbro had come up with because its red stripes on the gold background was not consistent with the identity of the Warriors.
Umbro promised to avail 50 000 replicas at the launch last month but it seems they have not been able to meet the deadlines.
Kamambo said their target was to sell one million replicas in the first three years of the deal with ZIFA getting a five percent commission.
Supporters have also raised concerns on the pre-match online ticket sales.
“We have had a lot of complaints from our members who are failing to access the tickets,’’ the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association said.
“It was a noble idea by ZIFA to re-introduce the pre-match ticket sales but there are many shortcomings with the electronic system.
“It’s not everyone who has access to internet. Some are saying the process is cumbersome. So we want the tickets to be distributed widely so that the fans will not have to go through all that trouble in trying to secure a ticket,’’ ZNSSA leader, Eddie ‘’Mboma’’ Nyatanga, said.
ZIFA promised to make a fortnightly update on the progress of the ticket sales but, apart from revealing that they sold 1 000 units on the first day, they have largely remained quiet.
Gwesela, however, said volumes have been pushed in the last month via the online platforms.
“We are delighted with the progress we have seen with the sale of online tickets.
“As a reminder tickets are bought online at www.clicknpay.africa or alternatively on the ZIFA website www.zifa.org.zw wherever you are.
“The online tickets come through your email and you can download it into phone.
“Physical tickets are available at all ZIFA offices countrywide. Other Harare outlets selling are Red Peepers, Innez Terrace and Nelson Mandela, 4 May (Bachelor’s Republic) along Jason Moyo and Sam Nujoma Street, opposite Unity Square,” said Gwesela.