Blow for Warriors

HARARE - Warriors’ European-based stars Tendayi Darikwa, Adam Chicksen and Kelly Lunga have been ruled out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Congo on Sunday.

The Zimbabwe Football association (Zifa) was not able to regularise the trio’s travelling documents in time for this weekend’s Group G clash in Brazzaville.

Darikwa plays for English Championship side Nottingham Forest while Chicksen is on the books of Bradford City in League One with Lunga plying his trade in Germany for SC Bonner in Regionalliga West.

The pair of Darikwa and Chicksen has British passports while Lunga holds a Germany passport.

Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa had made his intentions clear to have the trio available for the weekend’s tie having included them in his provisional squad.

The government last month, through the ministry of Sports had tried to expedite efforts to assist Zifa in securing Zimbabwean passports for the players but to no avail.

Although the new Constitution allows for dual citizenship, the Registrar General’s Office which issues passports is still using the Zimbabwe Citizenships Act of 1984.

This Act does not permit Zimbabweans to hold a passport from another country.

Darikwa, Lunga and Chicksen would need to renounce their European citizenships first before they can be granted Zimbabwean passports under this law which is yet to be aligned to the new Constitution.     

Warriors’ team manager Wellington Mpandare confirmed the trio will not make the trip for the Congo tie after it became apparent that their paperwork will not be complete in time for the big match.

“I can confirm they will not be available. Of course efforts to get their paperwork done is ongoing so that we can have them for future matches,” Mpandare told the Daily News.

Also ruled out of the clash against Congo is France-based forward Tino Kadewere, midfielders Ovidy Karuru, Marvellous Nakamba and defender Costa Nhamoinesu as they are nursing different injuries.

There are also doubts over the availability of China-based in-form striker Nyasha Mushekwi.

Khama Billiat is also now a huge doubt for the tie after suffering a hamstring injury over the weekend in Kaizer Chiefs’ defeat to SuperSport United in the MTN Super8 semi-final second leg.

Captain Knowledge Musona and the majority of South Africa-based players were scheduled to arrive last night.

United States-based Lucky Mkosana is expected in the country this evening.

The squad is expected to get down to serious business this morning when they hold their first training session ahead of their trip to Brazzaville.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to leave the country on Friday aboard an Ethiopian Airways flight and should arrive at the Maya Maya Airport in Brazzaville the following morning ahead of the match day on Sunday.

The warriors currently sit top of Group G with three points following the impressive 3-0 win over Liberia in the first game of the competition last year.

Musona scored all three goals that afternoon at the National Sports Stadium when FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was in interim charge of the team.

The Democratic Republic of Congo are in second place in the group also on three points but trail the Warriors on goal difference after their opening win over Congo last year.

Warriors Provisional Squad:

Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane), Donovan Benard (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)

Defenders: Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Alec Mudimu (Cefn Druids AFC), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Chiefs), Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum), Eric Chipeta (Cape Umoya United), Byron Madzokerere (Yadah)

Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Talent Chawapiwa (Baroka), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando), Lucky Mkosana (Penn FC), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

Strikers: Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Evans Rusike (SuperSport), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Bidvest Wits), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Tinotenda Chibharo (FK Sloboda Uzice)


Comments (1)

ZIFA knew six months ago that this weekend there is an away match against Congo brazzavile , so in those six months they honestly failled to sort out the passport issue for ana Darikwa honestly ???

Paul moyo - 5 September 2018

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