BY HENRY MHARA IN PARKTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
WARRIORS stand-in captain Khama Billiat said he feels no additional pressure by his newfound responsibilities ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying clash against South Africa at the FNB tomorrow night.
The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder has been handed the armband by coach Norman Mapeza for the match, in the absence of skipper Knowledge Musona and his vice Ovidy Karuru.
Musona is out injured while Karuru was not selected because he is club-less.
Billiat said he is humbled to be picked to lead the team, which will only be the second time he gets the honour.
The only other time he wore the armband in national team colours was in a friendly game against Malawi last year.
The speedy winger has been so much under the spotlight for his club in recent times, and asked if he feels more pressure now that he has also been handed a leadership responsibility, he said, “It’s a huge responsibility but I’m a professional and I have to take it. I will just have to try not to put myself under pressure, to feel comfortable and do what the coach wants me to do.”
“I have been captain before for both the nation and at club level. I was captain at Mamelodi Sundowns at some point so it’s not something that would really change anything about me. I’m just going to be myself and try to be the best I can be. I want to remain professional and be a good teammate to lead the team.”
The team conducted their third training session at Sandton Sports Club this morning and are expected to have a feel of the match venue tonight at 9pm.
Zimbabwe, with one point in Group G, are out of contention for next year’s World Cup ticket and will be out to spoil the party for log leaders South Africa who are hoping to win and remain in pole position to qualify to the next stage.
Mapeza is using the remaining two qualifying matches to prepare his team for the Africa Cup of Nations finals which kicks off in Cameroon in just over a month’s time.