WARRIORS coach Kalisto Pasuwa will be forced to name his final squad for the Gabon Africa Cup of Nations tomorrow, a day he is arriving from Ivory Coast, to beat the Confederations of African Football (Caf) deadline to submit players for the tournament.
BY HENRY MHARA
Pasuwa is expected to arrive back in the country tomorrow from the West African nation where he led his locally-based charges to a goalless draw in a friendly against the hosts, who also used local players for the match. The foreign-based players were set to start trooping into camp last night and begin training today.
However, the Warriors gaffer will not have the luxury to assess all the players as he will have to immediately submit his final squad to Zifa for onward transmission to Caf, before Friday midnight.
Caf allows each competing nation to submit a total of 40 members that includes 23 players and 17 technical staff plus FA officials that will be under the confederation’s expense during the period of the tournament from January 14 to February 5, 2017.
Any nation that fails to meet the Caf deadline attracts a substantial fine and will have its player allocation reduced to 22.
Pasuwa has named a provisional 31-men squad and eight will be axed.
He has said he would not make major changes to the squad that qualified the team to Gabon with the team’s mainstays such as skipper Willard Katsande, Costa Nhamoinesu, Marvellous Nakamba, Khama Billiat, Kuda Mahachi, Knowledge Musona and Nyasha Mushekwi, almost assured of their seats in the plane to Gabon.
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With three goalkeepers set to travel, Warriors’ number one keeper Tatenda Mukuruva is assured of making the cut and so is his deputy Donovan Bernard.
Elisha Muroiwa, who is highly-regarded by Pasuwa, is also likely to make the squad after recovering from an injury which kept him on the sidelines for his club Dynamos for the better part of last season.
Zimbabwe, in Group B, will begin their Afcon campaign with a match against Algeria on January 15, before taking on Senegal four days later. They would conclude their group matches against Tunisia on January 23.
Warriors Provisional Squad
Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (How Mine), Tatenda Mkuruva (Dynamos), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange)
Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Praha, Czech Republic), Blessing Moyo (Maritzburg United, SA), Bruce Kangwa (Azam FC, Tanzania), Elisha Muroiwa (Dynamos), Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Oscar Machapa (AS Vita Club, DRC), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum), Onismor Bhasera (Supersport United, SA), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Teenage Hadebe (Chicken Inn), Tendai Ndlovu (Highlanders)
Midfielders: Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows, SA), Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs, SA), Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns, SA), Raphael Kutinyu (Chicken Inn), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Golden Arrows, SA), Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), Talent Chawapiwa (ZPC Kariba), Marvelous Nakamba (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Ronald Chitiyo (Harare City)
Strikers: Cuthbert Malajila (Bidvest Wits, SA), Evans Rusike (Maritzburg United, SA), Knowledge Musona (KV Oostende, Belgium), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang, China), Mathew Rusike (Helsingborgs IF, Sweden),Tendai Ndoro (Orlando Pirates, SA), Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF, Sweden)