Two more players have been drafted into the national Under-23 squad as they gear up preparations for the crucial All-Africa qualifier against Young Chipolopolo of Zambia.
The two neighbouring teams clash on Sunday in Lusaka while the reverse fixture is pencilled for Harare two weeks later.
Kiglon’s Charles Mukanhairi and Hwange left back Blessing Sunday joined camp on Monday as replacements for Isaac Madziva and Osbourne Mukuradare.
Madziva pulled out of the squad due to injury, while Mukuradare is set to miss the trip to Zambia because he is unlikely to get a passport in time.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare said: “Charles Mukanhairi and Blessing Sunday have joined camp as replacements for some of the players who we think will not make it to Zambia.
“Isaac Madziva is out of the team because of an injury and we are still trying to negotiate with Home Affairs to get the travelling documents for Mukuradare, but the process is taking too long and we think it’s wise that we have a stand-in player in case he fails to get the papers in time.”
Mpandare clarified on media reports that Madziva pulled out of the team because he is over-aged.
“Madziva was injured last week and was assessed by the team doctors yesterday who advised us that he will not be fit for Sunday’s match.
“I don’t know where those reports are coming from, but as far as we know he is still eligible for the Under-23,” said Mpandare.
The team manager said he was happy that all the players, including Jomo Cosmos-bound Matthew Rusike, reported for camp on Monday.
The Young Warriors technical team is however sweating over the availability of Motor Action defender Passmore Bernard and Eagles’ Obert Mwerahari, who are still struggling to get their travelling documents.
Mpandare said he was confident the two players would get their papers this week.
Mpandare, who also doubles up as Motor Action team manager, revealed the bloated squad would be trimmed on Wednesday.
The Under-23 technical team is also set to announce the captain of the squad today and Gunners’ enterprising left back Qadr Amin looks a hot favourite to land the armband.
“We have delayed to trim the squad because of the problems we are facing, but I’m confident we will do that on Wednesday. The other thing is that the Zifa offices were closed and we are not sure of the number of players that will travel.”
Mpandare also said they were still in the dark on when the team was leaving for Zambia.