BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
ENGLAND-BASED Warriors, who are part of Norman Mapeza’s World Cup squad, are set to miss the return leg of the double header qualifier Ghana at the National Sports Stadium on October 12.
There had been hopes that some of the players would be able to travel to Zimbabwe following latest government restrictions on players travelling back from red-list countries, by the British administration.
The United Kingdom and the country’s health authorities relaxed requirements for fully vaccinated international players who are travelling to red-list countries.
It emerged, however, that only Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Jordan Zemura are the two players who were set to benefit from the development.
Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare said the players were not likely to travel to Zimbabwe because there were complications with the latest requirements.
“I don’t think any of the four players based in England who have been called for the two matches against are going to play in the second leg,” Mpandare told The Standardsport.
“There are still a lot of complications with the new requirements such that it’s easier for them not to come.
“Like Jurgen Klopp [Liverpool coach] was saying the players will still have to quarantine for 10 days, so it’s definitely not easy for the players.
“I also understand that they have to travel by a private jet, especially coming from the red-list countries.”
The players — Nakamba, Zemura, Brendan Galloway and Tendayi Darikwa — all missed the first two qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia last month due to travel restrictions.
In the latest set up, all fully vaccinated players returning from the red-list zones can now train and play immediately once back in the UK and isolate outside football hours.
They will be allowed to leave quarantine once a day to train or play but will not be allowed to see their families.
It has also been reported that players will also have to adhere to a code of conduct that contains guidelines on transport, close contact and protocols on testing, vaccination and bubbles.
The new development will also affect the Warriors opponents Ghana who have six players plying trade in England.
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey headlines the list of the Black Stars’ England-based players, which include Baba Abdul Rahman (Reading FC), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Andrew Yiadom (Reading FC), Tariq Fosu-Henry (Brentford FC) and goalkeeper Jojo Wallocott (Swindon Town).
Mapeza’s men play Ghana next Saturday at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana before hosting them in Harare three days later.
Zimbabwe anchor the standings and could crash out of the Group G race for Qatar 2022 qualification if they fail to win one of the two matches.
All the foreign-based players are flying straight to Ghana for camping, which is scheduled to start tomorrow.
Warriors provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars), Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants)
Defenders: Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United), Rahman Kutsanzira (FC Platinum), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic)
Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune United), Farai Madhanaga (Marumo Gallants), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Never Tigere (Azam), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United)
Strikers: Knowledge Musona (Al-Tai), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates.