The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has confirmed that the Warriors’ two upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers will be played in Rwanda.
The Warriors take on hosts Rwanda at the Huye Stadium on 15 November before hosting Nigeria at the same venue on 19 November 2023.
Just over a week ago, ZIFA Normalisation Committee chairperson Lincoln Mutasa said that they were planning to host Nigeria in Rwanda.
Mutasa conceded that ZIFA will incur huge costs in staging the Warriors’ assignments “home away from home”. He said:
"Yes, there are financial losses to be incurred but this is a sticky situation that we find ourselves in.
What saddens us the most is that supporters will miss an opportunity to watch their beloved team at home after a long time without international football.
While we would have wanted to get revenue from the match, what is important for us is to give footballers a rare opportunity to play the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
You can never put a cost to that.
Naturally, the football association foots its own bills, if it is within their means, but help from our partners will be accepted."
ZIFA failed to arrange international friendly matches for the Warriors in the recent international break.
The Warriors ended up playing a practice match against a Northern Region select side, which they lost 3-1.
Meanwhile, Change Radio has criticised the Government following the announcement by ZIFA that the Warriors will host Nigeria away from home. It said:
"The Zimbabwean football team will host the Nigerian team in Rwanda on November 19. This comes after ZANU PF, under the name of ZIFA, failed to provide a stadium suitable for international FIFA games.
In the past five years, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, led by Minister Kirsty Coventry, has failed to construct a single stadium. Hope was placed in Rufaro Stadium, which former Harare Mayor Cllr.
Mafume tried to improve within a short time frame and with limited resources. His vision was clear and could have been the most selfless plan for Harare and Zimbabwe.
However, the regime ensured that he didn’t receive the support and resources needed to make this dream a reality.
In August, the council organized a handover ceremony to build confidence among local and international investors and raise expectations for those inspecting the stadium.
Unfortunately, the anti-progress regime sent the police to disrupt the function. The CCC has been striving under difficult conditions to develop and lead in the cities.
Still, the regime, through the Minister of Local Government, continues to hinder their progress, reverse their decisions, and strip them of their power to make independent choices."