ZIFA will have to look for alternative accommodation for the Warriors, when they return home today to prepare for the reverse fixture of their World Cup qualifier against Somalia, after Prophet Walter Magaya revealed his Yadah Hotel was not available to give way for renovations.
The Warriors had turned Yadah Hotel into their base since they started staying there in June 2017 with the football-made prophet providing the facility free of charge.
The team would also use the adjacent Yadah Stadium for its training sessions while meals were provided by their hosts.
Some of the Warriors camped at Yadah Hotel ahead of their trip to Djibouti, where they crashed to a shock 0-1 defeat at the hands of Somalia, in their return to the WorldCup.
The Young Warriors, who took on their South African counterparts in the AFCON Under-23 qualifier last night in Johannesburg, also stayed at Yadah Hotel.
The Mighty Warriors have, of late, also been using the hotel for their camping requirements.
Cash-strapped ZIFA have revealed they have saved thousands, if not millions of dollars, which would have gone towards the costs of camping, since the national teams started using the Yadah Hotel.
Yesterday, Magaya said the Warriors will now have to find alternative accommodation for their camping because of renovations at the Yadah Hotel, a part of which was recently gutted by fire.
“We have commenced renovations, where the hotel was gutted by fire, and this means that we are unable to host the Warriors for their camping requirements ahead of the match against Somalia at home,’’ Magaya told The Herald.
“We have communicated that position to them and we hope that they will find alternative accommodation that suits the status of our beloved national teams.
‘’We have to work on the parts that were gutted by fire and that means we have no space, as of now, to provide the accommodation for the team as we have been doing in recent years.
‘’Since we started doing so, in June 2017, we have been proud to play our part in helping the national team and we shared their success in qualifying for the AFCON finals.
“We have derived a lot of pride knowing that we have also helped ZIFA to save big on money which would have been spent on the accommodation costs that comes with such camping requirements.
‘’As I have always maintained, I am guided by what I believe to be national interests and, in helping the Warriors, the Mighty Warriors and the Young Warriors, it was all about helping my country because these teams represent everyone who calls himself or herself a Zimbabwean.
However, it’s unfortunate that we can’t do that this time around and we have advised ZIFA that they have to look for alternative camping sites.’’
Just two weeks ago, the association praised the prophet for coming to their rescue and described him as football’s all-weather friend.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) would like to express sincere gratitude to Prophet Walter Magaya and PHD Ministries for agreeing to our request to offer accommodation to the Mighty Warriors ahead of their departure to Zambia for the Women Olympic qualifier match against Shepolopolo,’’ ZIFA said in a statement.
“Prophet Magaya is a reliable and all-weather friend of the beautiful game, as such, it plausible to mention that for his splendid love of football, the man of God is a good example of partnership ZIFA needs to develop our Football.
“Prophet Magaya’s commitment to the development of the game is clear as evidenced by his very often, timely partnership with ZIFA without any conditions.
“Prophet Magaya is a star who does not interfere with our game unlike others who just like policing and criticising but doing nothing for the game.
“He has not only shown passion for the game, but invested a lot in the sport, to an extent of demonstrating to the corporate world that men’s football is not the alpha and omega of the beautiful game, but it is also an avenue of empowerment for the girl child.
‘‘Prophet Magaya’s love for the country and the beautiful game is beyond doubt, thus it deserves great appreciation, not only by ZIFA but the nation at large. ‘’ZIFA would like to call other corporates and individuals to follow the example of Prophet Magaya in sponsoring football and emancipating the girl child.
“ZIFA wishes the man of God good health and wishes him all the best as he grows the Ministry. Thank you Prophet Magaya. We are humbled by this great generosity.’’
Meanwhile, Magaya yesterday revealed Yadah Stars were unlikely to travel to Mandava today for the opening round of the 2019 Chibuku Super Cup where they are set to face TelOne.
‘’As you might have heard, or picked, I have not been involved in Yadah Stars as heavily as I used to in the past because there are a lot of things happening in that team which have pushed me away,’’ he said.
‘’There are some players who have resorted to engaging in some malpractices, which are against the interests of the team and the vision that I had, and even as I speak to you, the team is not likely to travel to Zvishavane for the Super Cup.
“I am not happy at all with events that have been happening in that team.’’