The Africa Cup of Nations kicks off this week and we are super excited about it! Why? Well, for starters, Zimbabwe is quite football crazy. You will seldom hear of anyone who does not support a football team- any football team, international, local, regional, something. Everyone supports a team!
So what is AFCON? AFCON stands for African Cup of Nations and is Africa’s biggest football challenge. AFCON is commissioned by the Confederation of African Football every 2 years and started in 1957. The host countries differ, as do the sponsors. The 2019 host is Egypt for the Total sponsored event. This is the 5th time Egypt is hosting, they are clearly becoming professionals at this.
Zimbabwe is making an appearance for the 4th time since AFCON inception. By the sounds of it, the team is quite excited. Who wouldn’t be? Getting to face the host- nation in the very first match of the tournament?
The Warriors made their first AFCON appearance in 2004. They followed by two more appearances in 2006 and 2017. Though we have never won the competition, qualifying on its own is a huge affair, and we are stoked.
Here is a quick look at the full squad (taken from Newsday, May 2019):
George Chigova (Polokwane City), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)
Dennis Dauda (Lusaka Dynamos), Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest)
Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Butholezwe Ncube (AmaZulu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Tafadzwa Rusike (Zanaco), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Talent Chawapihwa (AmaZulu), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah), Knowledge Musona (Lokeren), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans), Rodwell Chinyengetere (Baroka)
Strikers: Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Walter Musona (Polokwane City), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City)
Our first match is with Egypt on the 21st of June followed by Uganda and the DRC on the 26th and 30th of June respectively. The Warriors will face Mauritius in July. Kick off against Egypt will be at 22:00 Harare time.
There is nothing left to say except GO WARRIORS!
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