Latest News Editor's Choice

Sports / Soccer

Darikwa committed to playing for the Warriors

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2017 at 11:06hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE international forward Khama Billiat is expected home this weekend but his chances of playing for the Warriors in their opening 2019 Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium next Sunday are very slim.

Billiat, who was one of the stars of the Warriors' successful campaign for a place at the 2015 AFCON finals, has been battling an injury and missed his club Mamelodi Sundowns' Champions League tie against Esperance of Tunisia last night.

But such is his passion to represent his country that the 26-year-old wants to be part of the squad, hoping he will recover in time to play against Liberia, even though the chances of that happening are very slim.

Sundowns believe Billiat won't be able to recover to play for the Warriors but the club will release the forward for assessment by the national team doctors who will then make a decision on whether he can play or not.

While concerns remain over Billiat, another Warriors' star Knowledge Musona is in good shape and is expected to lead the quest for goals against the Liberians.

Burnley defender Tendayi Darikwa is also just waiting for a call from the Warriors' team management to travel to Harare for that game after he finally decided that he was ready to represent Zimbabwe.

The 27-year-old, who was born in England and has never been to this country, has committed himself to playing for the Warriors and wants to be here next week, even if he doesn't play against Liberia, to mingle with his teammates.

Marshall Gore, who is based in the United Kingdom, has been playing the intermediary role persuading both Darikwa and another highly-rated player, midfielder Kundai Benyu of Ipswich Town, to commit themselves to the Warriors.

Gore is even ready to buy the tickets for the duo to travel to Harare.

"The latest is that after a lot of discussions I can reveal that Darikwa has committed himself to playing for Zimbabwe and that is very positive news indeed," Gore said.

"A lot has been said and written about his situation but he is a professional and we had to talk to him at that level and he has told me that he has made up his decision and wants to play for Zimbabwe.

"He is a holder of a British passport right now and will need to get a Zimbabwean passport for him to play against Liberia but he says that even if there isn't a lot of time, next week, for that process to be completed, he still wants to join camp and interact with his teammates so that he gets to know them better.

"It's not every day that we get a player who plays for an English Premiership side turning out for our Warriors and this is a good opportunity to add value to our squad and I am ready, should I get the green light from the team management, to get him his ticket to fly to Harare.

"Benyu also has told me that he is ready to play for the Warriors and that's another big plus because this is a very highly-rated player in this country who is on the radar of big teams like Tottenham and that shows he has quality.''

Source - the herald