Govt to approve Malawi trip

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/FORTUNE MBELE

THE government is today expected to approve the Warriors trip to Malawi for an international friendly match against the hosts at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.

Zifa had applied to the government through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) for the Warriors to be allowed to travel to Malawi as football — classified as high-risk — has not yet been sanctioned to resume since the lockdown was imposed in March. This is despite the fact that government has relaxed some of the restrictions that had been put in place in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus which has decimated all facets of life across the globe.

SRC director-general Prince Mupazvirihwo yesterday expressed confidence that the government through the Sports ministry would approve the trip.

“We met them (Zifa) and guided them on everything that is needed to be done and I can assure you the trip will be successful. Everything is under control. An official position from the ministry will be announced tomorrow (today),” he said.

Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic, who arrived in the country on Monday from his native home where he spent almost three months following the lockdown, is looking to use the match as a dress rehearsal ahead of the back-to-back 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against African champions Algeria.

While the Croatian, who is set to preside over the Warriors for the first time since his appointment, would have wanted to travel with a full strength squad to Malawi, he is likely to name a thin squad today due to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to the late dispatch of invitation letters to some of the foreign-based players.

Tanzania-based striker Prince Dube who was expected to be part of the travelling squad excused himself yesterday after reportedly sustaining a hamstring injury in the Vodacom Premier League when he scored a brace for his side Azam FC in their 4-2 home win over Kagera Sugar on Sunday.

“For me, it’s always a pleasure to represent my country. It’s just that I am not available for this friendly match. I picked a harmstring injury in our last game but I am hoping and wishing to be there come the Afcon qualifiers,” Dube told NewsDay Sport yesterday.

The on-fire Zimbabwean international has scored five goals in five games since his arrival and, also weighed in with three assists in the VPL as Azam maintain their stranglehold at the top of the log going into the Fifa break.

France-based Tino Kadewere, Tendai Darikwa and Macauley Bonne (England) and Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates) are some of the players who might not make the trip.

Lyon are said to be not too keen to release Kadewere after they gave him compassionate leave recently when his brother passed away while Darikwa is said to have lost his travel documents. Bonne’s invitation letter is understood to have been sent to Charlton Athletic before he completed his move to Queens Park Rangers on Friday. Orlando Pirates are also reported to be unwilling to release Dzvukamanja who joined recently. However, there is likely to be no problem with the rest of the team, including Belgium-based Knowledge Musona and England-based Marvellous Nakamba, among others.

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