BY FORTUNE MBELE
THE five new Highlanders players yet to get international clearances face a lengthy wait for the processing of their papers and could miss out on the Chibuku Super Cup altogether.
The Bulawayo football giants could not register Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, Peter Muduhwa, Winston Mhango, Keith Mavhunga and Lynoth Chikuhwa before the tournament kicked off last month as they had not acquired their international transfer certificates (ITCs).
Coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu had hoped the five could be registered before their second round of the Chibuku Super Cup Group 2 begins next Sunday against Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields Stadium, but club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said getting the ITCs was going to be a process.
The process has to start when the international transfer window opens next Thursday with Highlanders playing three days later.
“It is a process and depends on the response coming from the receiving FA [football association]. Ordinarily, it takes two weeks and it can be early or it can stretch longer,” Dube said.
“It’s possible you can get a temporary clearance from Fifa if the response from the other FA takes longer, but you cannot say exactly when the ITC will be out. What we have to make sure is that all our papers are ready as the process only starts when the window opens.”
Ngodzo is making a return to Highlanders after a short stint with Zambian side Buildcon, a club he joined from Caps United, while Mhango was with Kabwe Warriors in the same country.
Muduhwa also had a short stay in Tanzania, where he was on loan to champions Simba SC.
Mavhunga was also in Zambia where he played for Lumwana Radiants while Lynoth Chikuhwa was in Botswana with Security Systems.
Highlanders are neck-on-neck with Chicken Inn at the top of the log-standings in Group 2 of the Chibuku Super Cup with seven points each, with the GameCocks leading by a superior goal difference.
Both sides have not lost a game, with Highlanders having scored twice in three games.
Mpofu has expressed his disappointment for lack of firepower in his camp and the coming in of Chikuhwa, Ngodzo and Mavhunga might change his fortunes upfront.
Chicken Inn face the same predicament with Tafadzwa Kutinyu who also has to be cleared by the Guinean FA where he played for AC Horoya.
Kutinyu also makes a return to the GameCocks.
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