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Covid-19 Knox Butho out of Bafana match

by Staff reporter
02 Sep 2021 at 05:12hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE have been dealt a heavy blow after midfielder Butholezwe Ncube and striker Knox Mutizwa tested positive for Covid-19, automatically ruling them out of the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia. Both players had not joined camp and tested positive while preparing to fly to Harare and immediately went into isolation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"We can confirm that two Warriors players tested positive for Covid-19 while still in South Africa and that means they will no longer be joining camp for the Fifa World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia," said Zifa spokesperson Xolani Gwesela.

This development leaves the technical team with just two natural strikers, Terrence Dzukamanja, who is hardly used by Orlando Pirates, and Tino Kadewere, who plies his trade in France's Ligue 1 for Lyon, which is undesirable for head coach Zdvarko Logarusic and his assistants.

Mutizwa was not part of the original squad and was only drafted in after Zifa's failure to secure six United Kingdom-based players due to strict quarantine measures.

Knox Mutizwa Speaking from his isolation base in Johannesburg yesterday, Mutizwa, who plays for Lamontville Golden Arrows, said he was disappointed and hurt by the development and refuted claims that he was deliberately shunning representing his country. People suggesting that the former Highlanders' striker is snubbing the national team are basing it on Mutizwa's last minute withdrawal from the Warriors' Cosafa Cup squad after his wife fell ill.

"I was hurt when I received my Covid-19 results, as I was looking forward to hooking up with my colleagues in camp and doing everything within my power to make sure we collect maximum points, so that we start this journey on a positive note. Those who think that I am snubbing the national team are mistaken. Who in his right senses does not want to don the national team colours. I will soon be out of isolation and if the coaches give me a call, I will readily answer it; Zimbabwe is my home, my pride and I am always ready to play my part," said Mutizwa.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana arrived in Harare yesterday without two players that were in camp after they tested positive for Covid-19.

According to Safa, Thibang Phete, who plays for Portuguese club Belenenses SAD, immediately went into isolation after retaining positive PCR test results. Later it was flagged that another positive test returned for Thabiso Kutumela after tests yesterday morning before flying to Harare.

"We have tried our level best to ensure that the national team remains safe while in camp. It is always daunting to try and pin-point as to where and when the infection happened. Every measure is taken to ensure the safety of everyone in camp," Bafana Bafana team doctor Tshepo Molobi told a media briefing.


Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi(Marumo Gallants, Tallbert Shumba (Free State Stars), Martin Mapisa (Zamora)

Defenders: Onisimor Bhasera (SuperSport United), Devine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos), Kelvin Moyo (Nkana), William Stima (FC Platinum)

Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune United), Jonah Fabisch(Hamburger SV), Marshall Munetsi (Reims), Tafadzwa Rusike, Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars), Farai Madhananga (Marumo Gallants), Silas Songani (FC Platinum), Knowledge Musona (Al Tai)

Strikers: Terrence Dzukamanja (Orlando Pirates), Tino Kadewere (Lyon)

Source - the herald