Zimbabwe deny AFCON payment row

AFCON 2019

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has denied allegations of dishonesty after reports that the Warriors players wanted to boycott their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opener against Mohamed Salah's Egypt came to light.

According to Ahram Online, the Warriors reportedly downed tools on Thursday at the El-Sekka El-Hadid Stadium in Cairo, refusing to take part in training in a bid to receive unpaid wages and bonuses.

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It is believed the players were in negotiations with ZIFA, who were said to have been dishonest regarding the amounts the players were set to be allocated in appearance fees and allowances, according to Zimbabwean journalist Howard Musonza.

The Zimbabwe squad, which boasts a large contingent of players who ply their trade in the Absa Premiership, also reportedly accused ZIFA of not being transparent with the country's government about the team's payment structure.

ZIFA have since released a statement clarifying events with the Zimbabwean camp ahead of their AFCON opener, in addition to dismissing speculation of a reported boycott.

"The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) would like to reiterate that the Warriors have remained focused ahead of opening Group A match against Egypt on Friday (21 June 2019)," the statement read, as per ZIFA's official website.

"The Warriors have not ventured in any Industrial action or strike as reported in some social media circles.

"ZIFA and Warriors have signed a contract and both parties will honour and respect all contractual obligations.

"ZIFA values the welfare of players and shall never abdicate from its responsibilities.

"The opening match of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations between Egypt and Zimbabwe will kick off at 10pm at the giant Cairo International Stadium. The match will be broadcasted by over 200 television channels.

"ZIFA urges all Warriors fans to rally behind the Warriors in this prestigious 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament."

Zimbabwe have been placed in Group A, alongside host nation Egypt, DR Congo and Uganda.