FAM and Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) have expressed concern over the hotel which the Flames and the Warriors have been allocated in Cameroon for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group B matches.
The two associations are not happy with the state of the hotel as well as the distance to Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam where they will play their matches.
In an interview yesterday, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said they share similar concerns with Zimbabwe about the state of the hotel and distance to the stadium.
He said: “There is nothing much we can do about the distance to the stadium, but we will request CAF [Confederation of African Football] to look into the hotel because it is sub-standard.
“While CAF is enforcing high standards of stadia with member associations, they should also do the same with the LOC [local organising committee] in terms of hotel accommodation for participating teams.”
He said the wellbeing of players is critical to enhancing their performance and safeguarding their health.
“It is, therefore, important that the players must be provided with decent food and comfortable lodging. This is apart from excellent facilities for relaxation and recovery.”
Zimbabwe’s Warriors general manager Wellington Mpandare said they have also raised a concern over the distance between the match venue and their designated hotel.
“It [the stadium] is about 70 kilometres from the hotel which we will be sharing with Malawi.
“They say it takes about one hour 35 minutes to get to the match venue, but it can even take up to two hours because it’s in a mountainous area and the road is narrow,” Mpandare was quoted as having said by The Standard.
“So, you know how it is in football, sitting on the bus for two hours is a bit tricky. We raised it up with the general coordinator, but as it looks, I don’t think they will do anything about it. So, we will just get used to it.”
Malawi and Zimbabwe, both from the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations bloc, were drawn in Group B on Tuesday alongside Senegal’s Teranga Lions and Guinea’s Sylli Nationale.
The Flames will start their campaign against Guinea on January 10. Their second fixture is against the Warriors on January 14 before lining up against Africa’s top-ranked team Senegal on January 18 in their last Group B match.
Zimbabwe will play their first two group matches against Senegal and Malawi at Kouekong Stadium. They will then travel to Yaoundé for the final group match against Guinea four days later at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
The first, second and best four thirds in each group will advance to the round of 16. The tournament kicks off on January 9 and will culminate with the final on February 6.