The Zimbabwe Football Association says it needs over $300,000 to make its World Cup qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt on March 26.
The football controlling body has less than a week to raise the money for the Warriors to travel for the crucial match that Zimbabwe needs to win to remain in contention for a place at the global football extravaganza in Brazil next year.
The money is required to cover the Warriors’ appearance fees, allowances, and airfare to Alexandria, Egypt, where the Warriors are to play the crucial World Cup qualifier against the group leaders. Twelve of the players needed for the match live outside Zimbabwe and also need airfares to join the rest of the squad in Harare before travelling to Egypt.
Each of the team's 18 players and seven members of the technical department have been promised winning bonuses of up to $5,000 if they prevail in the crucial World Cup tie, so naturally the team is very eager to go.
Zifa vice president Ndumiso Gumede said at the moment, Zifa does not have the money.
“We do not want a repeat of what happened to the Zimbabwe Under 17 and Under 20 teams last year. These teams failed to travel to Angola and Mozambique and were subsequently thrown out of the competition,” said Gumede.
He said Zifa are aware of the consequences of withdrawing from the competition, adding that the football federation is working around the clock to ensure that the Warriors can make the trip to the port city of Alexandria.
The soccer controlling body has set up a fundraising committee christened the Zimbabwe Football Trust, but they have less than a week to raise the funds for the trip.
Initially, the match was supposed to be played at the 120,000 seat National Stadium in Cairo but was moved to Alexandria because of the volatile political situation in the Egyptian capital.
The Pharaohs lead the group with six points from two games, while Guinea are in second position after beating the Warriors 1-0 in Harare. Zimbabwe and Mozambique have one point each after two games.
The Warriors are aware that a slip up in Alexandria will all but signal the end of their dream of qualifying for the World Cup, which Brazil will host in June 2014.
Only one team from the group can go through to the final qualifying round for a place at the World Cup finals.