CAN hotel condemned as non-compliant

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The herald

Eddie Chikamhi
Senior sports journalist
The hotel, which was awarded to the Warriors for their CAN 2021 final in Cameroon, has been condemned as an inferior establishment.

Zimbabwe will share the same hotel, in the town of Bafoussam, with its Group B opponent, Malawi.

The favorites of the group, Senegal and Guinea, will share another hotel.

The allocation of hotels is based on the drawing of lots.

Malawi Football Association president Walter Nyamilandu told The Nation newspaper, worrying about the hotel’s poor condition and the distance to the stadium.

“There is not much we can do about the distance to the stadium, but we will ask CAF to review the hotel, as it is of inferior quality,” he said.

“While CAF applies high standards to the stadiums, together with the member associations, it should also do the same with the LOC (Local Organizing Committee) in terms of hotel accommodation for the participating teams.

“It is therefore important that the players have decent food and comfortable accommodation. This is apart from excellent facilities for relaxation and recovery.

Zimbabwe will play their first two group matches, against Senegal and Malawi, at the Kouekong stadium.

The Warriors will then travel to Yaoundé, for the last group match against Guinea, at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare, who has just returned from Cameroon, where he attended the draw and inspected the facilities, said he was not happy with the condition of the hotel .

They were also concerned about the distance from the hotel to the stadium where they will play their two Group B matches.

“We toured the facilities and went to the hotel with Malawi coach Meke Mwase,” he told the Herald.

“Problems were raised because in this region it seems that there are no good hotels.

“The distance between the hotel and the stadium is about 70 km and the road is bad. It’s a small winding road, in a mountainous area and officially a one-way ticket is supposed to take an hour.

“But, with the nature of the road, it’s more than that, almost an hour and a half to two hours. We raised the issue with the coordinators. ”

The Warriors’ squad management is also closely following developments in Europe, where uncertainty now surrounds the availability of some of their key players, for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers next month.

It’s almost a replay of the horror, during the last CAN 2021 qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia, in March of this year, when Zimbabwe could not secure the services of most of its stars based in Europe.

Zimbabwe stars in the UK could be banned by their clubs from coming home to play the World Cup qualifiers, due to Covid-19 protocols.

FIFA had authorized the clubs to remove players from their international duties, in case they faced more than five days of quarantine, upon their return to their bases.

Although that has been dropped, Liverpool’s decision to bar four of their stars, including Mohamed Salah, from making their World Cup qualifiers could set a damaging precedent.

“We understand that the English Premiership and the English Football Association are pushing their government for special waivers but, so far, we have not heard how far these talks have gone,” said the Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare.

“On our side, we have written to the clubs asking for the players for these important games and so far no club has responded to say that we are not giving you the players.

“Some of the players themselves have yet to know what’s going to happen and we have had requests from them asking what the position is.

“We were supposed to name our team (today) but now, with all the uncertainties, we may have to hang in there until we have a clearer picture of what’s going on.”


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