BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
LEICESTER City teenage star Tawanda Maswanhise has accepted the call to represent the Zimbabwe national football team but will certainly miss the World Cup qualifier against South Africa later this week as he awaits his local passport.
Maswanhise, one of the exciting prospects in the English Premier League was named by Coach Norman Mapeza in the squad for the upcoming dead rubbers against South Africa and Ethiopia.
Mapeza is already looking ahead to the Afcon finals scheduled for January 2022 in Cameroun.
But the starlet could make his debut for Zimbabwe in the home tie against Ethiopia if he manages to get his passport in time.
“There is good progress on Maswanhise after a teleconference with Marshall Gore and his father, he has agreed to play for Zimbabwe and we have already started the process of getting him a passport,” Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare told The Standardsport yesterday.
“Unfortunately, the process started late because of some delays but the most important thing is that he is interested in playing for Zimbabwe. The process has begun and on Tuesday his papers should be submitted at the embassy in the UK.
“By the end of the week he should have his passport.
“However, he is definitely out of the South Africa game, but has an outside chance of making the Ethiopia match.
“Like I said, even if he misses both matches he can represent Zimbabwe in future assignments,” Mpandare added.
The development comes as a consolation for the Warriors technical team following yet another snub by English Championship side Queens Park Rangers hotshot Macauley Bonne, who is currently on loan at Ipswich Town and is the League One joint top scorer.
According to correspondence by Ipswich Town, Bonne turned down the Warriors call because of a medical condition which bars him from playing football in high temperature regions.
And with France-based Tino Kadewere and captain Knowledge Musona out of the squad, the latter due to injury, the Warriors face a striker’s crisis.
Mapeza had called only three strikers in Scotland-based David Moyo, Knox Mutizwa who plays for Golden Arrows in South Africa and Bonne.
The Warriors technical team was yet to decide on whether to replace Bonne or use the available resources.
“We are yet to deliberate on the issue, but remember we had already named a bloated squad so we may decide to stick with the team that we have. It’s not for me to say, but it’s up to the technical team,” Mpandare said.
Seven local based players are set to go into camp today where they will have Covid test before leaving for South Africa tomorrow to link up with the foreign based players.
Training is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. South Africa hosts Zimbabwe on Thursday night at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Taimon Mvula (Dynamos) Donavan Benard (Chicken Inn) Petros Mhari (FC Platinum)
Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle, Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Bruce Kangwa, (Azam), Divine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos)
Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy), Farai Madhanaga (Marumo Gallants), Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune), Tawanda Maswanhise (Leicester), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Jonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Ismael Wadi (JDR Stars)
David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), (Lamontville Golden Arrows)