ZIFA has turned down Harare City’s request to withdraw two of their key players — goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu and forward Silas Songani from the national team set to travel to Zambia for the Cosafa Castle Cup football tourney.
Harare City wrote to Zifa on Friday requesting that the two players be withdrawn from the national team as they have injuries to some of their key players.
Harare City, who are leading the Premier Soccer League table with 31 points following their 2-1 win over Hwange at the weekend, had been earmarking to use the players for their tough league match against Monomotapa at the weekend as they launched a bid to win their first championship since their promotion into the elite league two years ago.
However, Warriors caretaker manager Patrick Mutesva said yesterday they had written back to Harare City informing them that it was too late to withdraw the players as they had already submitted the squad to Cosafa.
“They have written a letter requesting for the withdrawal of Silas Songani and Maxwell Nyamupanedengu from the national team, but we have written a counter letter informing that it is not possible as the players are already registered for the Cosafa tournament,” Mutesva said.
The Warriors went into camp last night ahead of the trip to Zambia. They are scheduled to hold their first training session this morning at the National Sports Stadium and travel to Zambia on Thursday ahead of their opening quarter-final match against Malawi at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Zimbabwe have won the regional tournament a record four times and arrive in Zambia as the defending champions after having also lifted it on home soil in 2009. They begin the defence of the Cosafa Cup with a date against the Flames of Malawi on July 13.