Courtesy: The standardFutsal team blame venue change for cup qualifiers exitSunday, 27 May 2012
by Michael Madyira
The Zimbabwe Futsal (five-a-side) national team have complained about circumstances surrounding their exit from World Cup qualifiers claiming they were forced to play the second leg in South Africa last weekend.
Zimbabwe forced a one-all draw at the Wembley Indoor Sports Complex in Turfontein, but bowed out on a 5-3 aggregate.
The Zimbabwean side had initially lost 4-2 in the first leg of the qualifiers, which was played at the same venue.
Zifa notified the team at the last minute that the second leg, initially set for Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex, would be played in South Africa after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had condemned the venue as unsuitable for international matches.
The South Africa Football Association (Safa) had to meet Zimbabwe’s travelling and accommodation expenses.
CAF condemned Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex because it had no running water and the fact that referees failed to access dressing rooms in the preliminary round match against Sudan last month.
Team manager, Michael Musagwiza, said apart from the fact that 11 of their 14 players were complaining of stomachache a few hours before the match, there were other factors that largely contributed to their demise.
“You always have an advantage playing at home because of the fans’ backing. But playing the second leg in South Africa really dampened morale in our camp,” said Musagwiza.
“We travelled to South Africa on a Friday and played the match the following day, meaning our boys did not have time to acclimatise. We also found it dubious that Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex was condemned when it only needed 10 minutes to fix the broken water pipes.
“The other thing is that when we played Sudan, the man who keeps the referees’ dressing rooms keys was off-duty and had gone home with the keys, but here it is the owners of that stadium who are to blame,” he said.
The Frank Farakezi-coached team is also complaining that Angolan match officials were supposed to handle the second leg, but Mozambicans who handled the first leg and also the preliminary match against Sudan officiated.
The City Sports Centre in Harare, which used to host Davies Cup tennis matches, could also be used for Futsal.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari