Warriors suffer Fifa blow

HARARE - Zimbabwe have paid the prize for their recent slump which has seen them start 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers in the preliminary round after world governing body Fifa ruled that clubs are not obliged to release players in these early stages.

Fifa maintained that the dates for the opening qualifying rounds fall outside of the Fifa calendar for international matches, so clubs can chose not to release players. 

The Fifa media department said: “Release of players is only possible upon mutual agreement between the national associations and the clubs to which the players belong.”

“There is no obligation for the clubs to release their players on these dates.”

The development is likely to create a club versus country battle as the Warriors gear for the qualifiers.

Zimbabwe open against Tanzania on the weekend of May 16-18 in Dar es Salaam with the return leg at home two weeks later. 

They will then meet the winner between Mozambique and Southern Sudan vying for a place in the group stages of the qualifiers, where Zambia, Cape Verde and Niger lie in wait.

The group stage matches, which commence sometime in September, however do fall on the Fifa calendar for international matches, thus clubs around the world must release players for the later qualifiers.

The move leaves in limbo the availability of players like Kaizer Chiefs’ pair of midfielders Willard Katsande and Matthew Rusike alongside forward Kingston Nkatha, who are likely to be involved in their team’s Nedbank Cup final.

Kaizer Chiefs along with Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits or Maritzburg United are all in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup and are not likely to release players for the first round of qualifiers, as those dates could clash with the final.

Speedy winger Edward Sadomba is also not likely to be available for Warriors selection as his team Al Ahli Beng­hazi will be involved in the Champions League.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.