The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has brushed aside criticism of travel arrangements that saw Ghana arriving in Zimbabwe while their hosts were holed up in Ethiopia ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier played at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Tuesday.
The Warriors arrived in Harare from their loss to Ghana in Cape Coast 14 hours after the Black Stars had touched down in Harare.
In fact, the Ghana squad slept in Harare on Sunday night, while the Warriors spent the night in Ethiopia.
The national association said the Black Stars flew directly from Ghana to Harare on a government-funded chartered flight while the Warriors used a commercial flight. ZIFA said in a statement:
ZIFA has received numerous inquiries from stakeholders on why Ghana arrived in Zimbabwe earlier than our own Warriors after the first leg. Their fear was that ZIFA had probably not prepared adequately for the two matches.
While Ghana flew directly from Ghana to Harare on a government-funded chartered flight, our Warriors used a commercial flight secured using the association’s resources.
The flight route used by the Warriors to travel from Accra to Harare was the fastest on the earliest possible flight.
For the first-leg in Ghana, players travelled directly to the match venue to reduce travel distances, which would have affected their preparedness for the match.