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Warriors face foreign players conundrum

by Staff reporter
24 Aug 2021 at 06:30hrs | Views
THE Warriors technical team is having challenges in getting England-based players for the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia early next month and manager Wellington Mpandare says they're pinning their hopes on Fifa.

Zimbabwe take on South Africa in their opening group match on September 3 at the National Sports Stadium, before facing Ethiopia away four days later. Last week, Bafana Bafana named their provisional squad for the Warriors and Ghana ties. The Warriors' technical team had been expected to announce the squad yesterday, but the non-response by England clubs has forced them to wait for Fifa's direction on the release of players.

English giants Liverpool have reportedly taken a stand against releasing striker Mohamed Salah of Egypt, the Brazilian trio of Roberto Firmino, Allison and Fabinho for international duty. It seems English clubs fear that players that travel to Covid-19 red zones will miss multiple league games on return from international duty, as they will be forced to quarantine.

"We are still waiting on the Fifa position because we're having challenges with England-based players. I'm sure you're aware that Liverpool refused to release Salah. It's still a stumble for us. As soon as we get a clear picture, we will announce the team," said Mpandare. The Warriors missed eight European based players for the last Afcon qualifiers due to stringent Covid-19 travel restrictions that had been imposed by the United Kingdom and France.

The UK brigade led by Aston Villa's Marvelous Nakamba and has Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Brendan Galloway, David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), as well as striker Admiral Muskwe missed the Botswana and Zambia Afcon qualifiers.

The Warriors also missed France-based striker Tinotenda Kadewere and midfielder Marshal Munetsi, who were cleared by their clubs for national duty, but didn't travel because they were going to be quarantined at a crucial time for their teams in the league championship.

Source - the herald