HomeEditorial CommentGovt to blame for Warriors quandary

Govt to blame for Warriors quandary

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THIS week, we have witnessed the unfolding of the club versus country row regarding football players based in the United Kingdom.

The Premier League and English Football League have refused to release players that intend to travel to countries classified as COVID-19 hotspots ahead of next week’s Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

Zimbabwe is one of those red-listed countries and the reluctance by foreign clubs to release players was triggered by Britain’s public health policy, where anyone travelling from the red-listed countries has to quarantine for ten days on return.

A ten-day quarantine means players returning from World Cup qualifiers would miss two match days for their clubs.

Fifa and Caf have tried to persuade the British government to give special waivers to the footballers without success.

The stance has hit Zimbabwe hard as seven players who were selected to play against South Africa and Ethiopia will not be available.

What has made the situation worse is that local football has been suspended for the last seven weeks.

Some people have blamed the UK government for being selfish as their national team will not be affected. African and South American countries’ chances have been dealt a blow by this policy.

Back home, we lay the blame squarely on the government, which has ignored the plight of football and other sporting disciplines throughout the year.

We are in a pandemic yes, but measures have to be put in place to ensure a win-win situation. Surely, playing football in an empty stadium with players getting tested at least twice a week could not have been a COVID-19 super-spreader.

The pandemic has affected the whole world yet we see football leagues taking place everywhere else except here. Most African countries have managed to run their league games and those leagues can feed into the national teams.

Unlike in other counties, Zimbabwe national team coaches cannot draw from their own home-grown players because they are inactive and the government seems not to care about the consequences. National team coach Zdravko Logarušić is struggling to replace the seven players that have been barred from travelling to Zimbabwe by their foreign clubs.

South Africa does not have the same problem that we are facing because they have managed to keep their league running and they will come in with their tails up in a match they would have normally been considered as underdogs.

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