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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Chigova - Zimbabwe didn't lose to Egypt because of financial dispute

5:16 PM IST 22/06/19
George Chigova of Zimbabwe
The Warriors goalkeeper speaks to Goal about the row which threatened to spoil their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign

Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova makes it clear that the dispute between the players and the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) which endangered their Afcon campaign has been resolved.

The players reportedly threatened to forfeit the tournament’s curtain-raiser at the Cairo International Stadium over unpaid allowances.

They eventually turned up for the game which was decided by a brilliant Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan strike as the match ended 1-0 to the Pharaohs on Friday night.

Speaking to Goal, Chigova made it known that the players were fully focused on their Afcon campaign.

“We know there were problems, but as players, we told ourselves we had to forget about whatever had happened in the last few days,” Chigova told Goal.

“Today was the day we had been waiting for since we qualified in March, so we didn’t lose because of issues in the last two days.

“Everything is sorted; the relationship [with Zifa] is always good but every house has got its own problems and we’ve solved it. They understand us, we understood them and we move on.

“There are no grudges, and it is water under the bridge for us and them. Now we have to focus on the tournament and make the people back home proud.”

The Polokwane City goalkeeper, who didn’t feature in Friday’s game due to suspension, expressed his disappointment at missing out on such a big day for Zimbabwean football.

“It is frustrating for every player,” he admitted.

“You want to test yourself. Since it’s my first Afcon I wanted to play from the first game just as I played in the qualifiers.

“If I’m selected for the next game, I’m ready to put on the shirt and help the team to win.”

The Warriors are currently bottom of Group A after their defeat by the host nation, with Uganda set to do battle with DR Congo on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday Chidzambwa’s troops will face the aforementioned teams on June 26 and June 30 respectively.