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Amrouche decries return delays

MQONDISI DUBE
Action starved: The Zebras have spent nearly a year without action PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Delays in announcing the resumption of football activities has left Zebras coach, Adel Amrouche frustrated ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.

Continental soccer body, CAF recently announced the qualifiers for the 2022 competition would resume in October.

However, the Presidential COVID-19 Task Force has not approved the return of football activities.

This has left Amrouche, who is in Belgium with his family, in a quandary as he had planned training camps abroad, including Qatar.

Those plans are on hold as borders remain closed, and training prohibited.

However, Amrouche told Mmegi Sport from Belgium this week that he had given some players individual training programmes.

“It has been tough, we would have liked to play some friendly matches, but it is difficult. Some countries have started training,” Amrouche said.

The Belgian had led the Zebras in two AFCON qualifiers, but the team is yet to register a win after a draw and a defeat against Zimbabwe and Algeria, respectively.

South Africa’s glamour club, Kaizer Chiefs has reportedly been tailing Amrouche, but the coach has

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said he is committed to the Zebras.

“There is nothing (regarding Kaizer Chiefs). At the moment, I am the Zebras coach and the focus is to prepare for the AFCON qualifiers,” he said. The Zebras are due to play back-to-back matches against neighbours Zambia, as they bid to breathe life into their campaign.

Zambia have a scheduled friendly match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana as they prepare for their Zebras date.

It would be a tough return to action for the Zebras, as local football has not been played since March. Amrouche has been asked to take the team to the 2022 AFCON finals, as one of the targets. The Zebras only qualification to the continental competition was in 2012, when a Stanley Tshosane side defied odds.



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