THE national Under-20 team was subjected to near inhuman conditions in which they did not have even toiletries at the Cosafa Under-20 Challenge Cup held in December in Maseru, Lesotho.
The players, who also played with an inferior kit, are yet to be paid their allowances more than two months after the tournament.
However, just like the senior team at the African Nations Championships (Chan) in South Africa, the Young Warriors finished fourth at the tournament.
Upon their return from Lesotho, the Young Warriors held on to the kit they used, vowing to give it to Zifa only after their allowances were paid.
According to sources, Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede addressed the team in Lesotho and told them point blank that they should focus on their development and not monetary gains.
Gumede referred Standardsport to Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.
“I was in Lesotho on Cosafa business so talk to Mashingaidze,” said Gumede.
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Former Zifa Southern Region Division One acting chairman Morgan Dube, who was the Head of Delegation (HOD) of the team, confirmed the situation got out of control as players wanted to boycott the third and fourth play-off match against Angola.
“Things were so bad in Lesotho that we had to beg them to play the third and fourth play-off match which they eventually lost to Angola. These young boys were on national duty, but they did not even have toiletries.
“Even up to now, they are still to receive anything from Zifa and we had to look around for bus fare for them to return to their respective homes upon arrival in Harare. The players and the technical team had been promised daily allowances for their two-week stay in Zvishavane as well as their stay in Lesotho,” he said.
Dube added that he had to fork out money from his pocket to pay hospital bills for midfielder Praise Tonha when he was seriously injured in the opening game against Swaziland.
“The injury was very serious and upon arrival at the hospital, the doctors advised us that we had to pay approximately US$30 and I had to pay from my pocket. I also had to pay almost US$400 because the team did not have enough kit which we had to buy. I do not know how this will look in the eyes of the nation, but surely something is wrong with our football,” he said.
“Winstone Mabhande, the competitions manager, whom we had been told was going to bring the cash, arrived in Lesotho but did not have the money.”
Mabhande said he was on leave and was not aware if the team had been paid or not.
“I went on leave after the tournament and I don’t know whether they have been paid. Unfortunately right now everyone is too busy with the [PSL] elections and I am not able to check that for you,” he said.