HomeSportSoccerMapeza impressed. . . as confusion hits Liberia camp

Mapeza impressed. . . as confusion hits Liberia camp

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Warriors caretaker coach Norman Mapeza yesterday said he was impressed by foreign-based players’ turnout after the majority joined the local lads ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2012 African Cup of Nations opening soccer qualifier against Liberia in Monrovia at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Seven out of the 13 foreign- based players reported for duty as Warriors kick-started preparations for the crucial tie. However, there was concern over Poland- based midfielder and former Soccer Star of the Year Clemence Matawu who sat out training with an ankle injury.
Matawu, who recently joined top flight Polish side Polonia Bytom, had to be attended to by team doctor Edward Chagonda who applied ice to his left ankle to ease pain. Matawu said his club doctor did a scan on the ankle on Saturday and was optimistic he would be fit for the Liberia game.
Matawu was one of the seven- foreign-based players who were in camp yesterday.
The others were the Mamelodi Sundowns trio of Method Mwanjali, Lionel Mtizwa and Nyasha Mushekwi, Ajax Cape Town’ s Tafadzwa Rusike and the Kaizer Chiefs duo of defender Thomas Sweswe and rising star Knowledge Musona.
Most of the players who had not reported for duty were those based in Europe together with Al Hilal striker Edward Sadomba who is based in Sudan.
The remaining quintet was Quincy Antipas (Sonderjysk, Denmark), Noel Kaseke (AC Omonia, Cyprus), Onismor Bhasera (Plymouth Argyle, England), Costa Nhamoinesu (Zaglebie Lubin, Poland) and Justice Majabvi (Lask Linz, Austria).
Mapeza said: “I’m happy and impressed that the majority of the players I called up are here. There is no better start than this.
“Some of the players were engaged at the weekend and I expect the rest of the team tomorrow (today). I have reduced the number of locally-based players to 11.”
Among those who survived the chop were Gunners marksmen Norman Maroto and Willard Katsande and Dynamos midfielders Benjamin Marere and Ashley Rambanapasi.
It would appear German mentor Klaus Dieter Pagels is in the thick of things after Mapeza introduced him to the Warriors before the training session at the National Sports Stadium B Arena.
Although Mapeza was in charge, Pagels would come in as a technical adviser. Pagels has in the past said he will not have anything to do with the senior team. Zifa are still to appoint a substantive coach after naming Mapeza on a caretaker basis.
l Meanwhile, reports from Liberia yesterday said there was “confusion” in the Lone Star camp with Hungarian coach Bertalan Bisckie being forced to include players he had not called up for the Warriors tie.
According to Liberiasoccer newspaper, Bisckie is said to be “very confused as he prepares to play his first competitive match against the Zimbabwe Warriors.”
The paper wrote: “Credible reports gathered by this paper have revealed that the coach is confused with too much interference with his job and will see Liberia Football Association president Musa Hassan Bility to find a way forward.”
The reports say authorities in Liberian football have imposed players they prefer on the coach after he had already called up his squad to battle against Zimbabwe.
“While the coach is trying to put plans together to probably win his first match at home, non-invited players—local and overseas-based — are at the fore with some big hands behind their selection,” the paper said.
“Liberian international misfit and clubless defender George Gebro is in the country and has infiltrated the training already.
“It is not yet known whether it met the approval of the coach for Gebro to train with Lone Star where he is an uninvited player.”

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