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Forget about World Cup 2026: Chikoya

Chikoya believes the players struggled to gel against Bafana as they are still getting used to each other.

Former Zimbabwe international Innocent Chikoya says as a country they should accept that qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup was always going to be a far-fetched dream for them.

On Tuesday, the spirited Warriors were beaten 3-1 by South Africa at Free State Stadium in a Group C World Cup qualifier.

The result leaves Zimbabwe at the bottom of the six-team log table, while Bafana Bafana moves up to second place.

"Our boys, their poor performance against Lesotho was due to not having enough time together, with new coaches who were appointed when the team had already been picked. It's fair to say we still have a long way to go," Chikoya honestly admits, in a conversation with KickOff.

"To be honest, we need to use these World Cup qualifiers to prepare ourselves for the next AFCON. We are not prepared.

"As a country, let's use this time to get a coach who will be contracted. Let's allow a coach enough time by giving him a five-year contract.

"They did well the Zimbabwean players yesterday, especially in the first half. Imagine if the coach had a chance to select his own players," adds the ex-Orlando Pirates star.

Chikoya believes the players struggled to gel against Bafana as they are still getting used to each other.

"On the other side, you are up against a Bafana side that is dominated by Mamelodi Sundowns players, they know each other.

"Let’s not forget that this is the team that recently performed wonders in the AFCON.

"But in terms of effort and talent, that one we do have in abundance in the Zimbabwe team.

"Remember, the current Zimbabwe national team coaches have their own clubs, they are contracted somewhere. They were called to assist.

"They all did well, we are proud of their efforts."

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