The Minister of Sports, Kirsty Coventry expressed anger over government officials’ decision to lock out of the National Sports Stadium, the senior national football men’s team (The Warriors) on Thursday.
The Warriors were scheduled to hold a training session in the afternoon, to have a feel of the pitch before the AFCON qualifier game against Congo Brazzaville this Sunday. Said Minister Coventry:
The kind of behaviour that happened yesterday is disgusting. Our national players need to be prioritized! Federations and Stadium Management need to understand that without our athletes there will be no Federations and no Stadiums! I will be getting to the bottom of this!
The incident happened following an impasse between the Ministry of Local Government and the Zimbabwe Football Association over ticket tallying. The ministry wants access to the online ticketing system so that they will be in a position to ascertain their share.
Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare expressed sadness at the development. Said Mpandare:
Yes, we were locked out of the stadium because of some standoff between Zifa and the department of public works in the Ministry of Local Government.
It’s really a sad episode because we have lost a day of training. It’s like we are now home away from home yet in Congo we had four days at the match venue.