Warriors’ UK brigade for Ghana match
UNITED Kingdom-based Warriors’ players will only play the first-leg of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Ghana and miss the return leg should Fifa’s engagement on release of stars with the English FA and British government fails.
The world football governing body has been trying to negotiate with the UK government, through the English FA, to allow players to travel for international games in countries the UK red listed as Covid-19 hotspots and exempt them from quarantine on their return.
Most players plying their trade in the English Premiership missed the last World Cup qualifiers played in countries under the UK’s Covid-19 red list, as their clubs refused to release them, fearing they would be quarantined for 10 days and miss crucial games.
Zimbabwe are hoping to revive their 2022 World Cup qualifiers following a tragic start which claimed the scalp of their Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic.
They take on Ghana in back-to-back matches next month, starting away in West Africa.
The Warriors are at the bottom of Group G with just one point from a goalless draw with South Africa. They went on to lose their away match to Ethiopia 1-0.
South Africa top the table with four points, while Ghana and Ethiopia are both tied on three points.
Warriors’ manager Wellington Mpandare said they are awaiting feedback from Fifa on the availability of UK-based players for the return leg against Ghana in Harare.
“We will announce the squad on Tuesday. We’re still waiting for Fifa to brief us on developments regarding UK players. Fifa has been working on finding a breakthrough with the British government and the English FA so that players are released for international duty. We expect to get that response on Tuesday.
“If the response is negative, we’ve been communicating with the UK clubs that the players will then play the first-leg in Ghana and fly back to their bases after that encounter. But we remain hopeful that the guys will be available for the reverse fixture in Harare,” said Mpandare.
Ghana is on the UK government’s amber list Covid-19 countries; which means non-citizens or residents can enter the
UK without having to pay for hotel quarantine.
This means Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, defenders Jordan Zemura of Bournemouth, Wigan Athletic’s Tendai Darikwa and Brendan Galloway from Luton Town, strikers David Moyo from Scottish side Hamilton Academical and Admiral Muskwe will be available to play in Ghana, giving the Warriors a boost.
Mpandare said they will set up a training base in Accra from October 3 when the first batch of Warriors’ players arrive.
The last batch will fly straight to Ghana on October 6 before travelling to the Cape Coast where the qualifier will be played.
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