SUNDAY Chidzambga’s plan to use the Cosafa tournament to construct his team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September is in tatters after he failed to take a third of the players he required to the tournament.
BY GARISH PHIRI
The Warriors left for Polokwane by road yesterday minus Costa Nhamoinesu, who had been named as part of the 20-men squad after his club summoned him back to the Czech Republic and barred him from playing in the regional tournament, which is not on the Fifa calendar.
Nhamoinesu, whom the club claimed was injured, joins Marvellous Nakamba, who has officially been ruled out through injury, but is also suspected to have been barred by his Belgian team Club Brugge from playing in the Cosafa tournament.
Captain Knowledge Musona has since informed the technical team that he is injured despite him playing the last match of the season for his team.
This is all after Kuda Mahachi was ruled out through injury, while the UK-based quintet of Tendayi Darikwa, Macauley Bonne, Admiral Muskwe, Andy Rinomhota and Adam Chicksen failed to acquire Zimbabwean passports, which are required for them to play at this tournament.
Germany-based Kelvin Lunga also failed to travel for the same reason.
Kaizer Chiefs defender, Teenage Hadebe failed to join camp because of an injury.
Of the 33 players that Chidzambga had called in, 10 failed to join camp and will not be part of the Cosafa jamboree.
While Chidzambga still has a strong team that has all the potential to win the tournament, his main focus is the Afcon qualifier against the Republic of Congo in Brazzaville in September. He has lost the opportunity to start constructing combinations considering that five of the players that are out of the Cosafa tournament, form the backbone of the team.
He might have also benefitted from looking at the UK-based players, particularly right back Darikwa, defender Chiksen and striker Bonne, who all have the potential to force themselves into a full strength Warriors team.
Yadah captain, Jimmy Dzingai was roped in as Nhamoinesu’s replacement with Warriors team manager, Wellington Mupandare at pains to explain Nhamoinesu’s withdrawal even though the player had a run about on Wednesday after arriving late.
“We have brought in Jimmy Dzingai, who is the Yadah’s captain, to replace Costa Nhamoinesu in the defensive line” he said.
“During the long layoff, Costa played two games and besides that he had a long flight from Czech Republic to Zimbabwe,” he said. “His team (Sparta Prague) yesterday sent the results of tests that they had carried out. The results confirm that he is not yet ready for a return. He has to go back to Czech Republic on doctors’ orders so that he can be assessed with immediate effect.”
Nhamoinesu last played for Zimbabwe in the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon where the team showed promise but failed to go beyond the group stages.
Of the players that travelled yesterday, Khama Billiat is the only player who played at the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon.
Tino Kadewere was part of the squad at the finals but he did not play in any of the matches.