KALISTO Pasuwa has once again called up three foreign-based players — Macauley Bonne (England), Mamelodi Sundowns forward Kuda Mahachi and Marvellous Nakamba who plays for Netherlands top-flight league side Vitesse — for the Under-23 African Championship football qualifier against Swaziland in Harare on May 24.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The team goes into camp on Monday.
Pasuwa failed to secure the foreign-based players for the All-Africa Games qualifiers with clubs showing reluctance to release the players on the grounds that the matches fell outside the Fifa calendar for international matches.
The Under-23 African Championships are also not on the Fifa calendar for international matches, but Pasuwa could secure the players he wants this time around as most of them are now off season.
The Young Warriors coach expressed confidence yesterday that they would get the three players this time around.
He, however, was doubtful whether Zifa would afford air tickets to fly in Bonne from the United Kingdom.
“I have spoken to Mahachi and Bonne over the phone. They are both willing to come and play in this match. I was also in touch with Nakamba on Facebook and he wants to come. But what I am not sure of is whether Zifa would be able to buy air tickets for Bonne,” Pasuwa said.
Bonne, who plays for Colchester United in England, last played for the Warriors in an international friendly against Morocco late last year.
The Young Warriors coach had initially named a 21-man provisional squad, keeping faith in the stars that helped Zimbabwe qualify for the All-Africa Games after beating highly-rated Cameroon 2-1 on aggregate.
Should the Young Warriors beat Swaziland, they will meet South Africa in the final qualifying round.
The winners from that encounter will seal a ticket for the finals to be held in Senegal after original hosts, the Democratic Republic of Congo, withdrew to focus on preparations for that country’s elections.
The winners in the qualifying round match against South Africa were supposed to meet Senegal in the last qualifying round, but as hosts, Senegal are no longer participating in the qualifiers.
The top three teams at the finals in Senegal will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil, while the fourth-placed team will be involved in a play-off against an Asian team.
U23 Championship Qualifier Squad:
T Mukuruva, T Mawaya, B Moyo, R Pfumbidzai , L Mhlanga, M Nyenye, T Hadebe, L Chakoroma, G Takwara ,W Mutasa, N Masuku, M Gaki, Rusere, M Sibanda, J Kanono, K Moyo, W Musona, T Chideu, T Mudehwe, K Mahachi, M Bonne, M Nakamba