BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
WARRIORS defender Teenage Hadebe has confirmed his availability for the two Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia this monthend.
His had been shrouded in uncertainty with the majority of European clubs looking to block their players from travelling to southern Africa and some parts of South America due COVID-19 concerns.
The British government has crafted regulations which make it difficult for European clubs to release their players for duty in southern Africa, where a deadlier variant of the coronavirus is said to be prevalent.
Individuals who travel out of Europe would be required to quarantine at their own expense for 10 days on their return.
With world football governing body Fifa giving clubs the freedom of choice in the release of players for national duty, most clubs have preferred not to let them fulfil their respective assignments.
Already, English Premiership side Aston Villa have barred midfielder Marvelous Nakamba from coming home for the two qualifiers.
Other players based in England who have been affected by the regulations include Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth), Brendan Galloway (Luton) and Admiral Muskwe (Wycombe).
Warriors defender Tendayi Darikwa, who turns out for Wigan Athletic, has however, insisted that he would play a part in the two fixtures.
Warriors team manager Wellington Mupandare yesterday said the Turkey-based defenders Teenage Hadebe and Alec Mudimu would soon be joining others in camp.
Mupandare added that the door was not yet shut for the France-based duo of Tino Kadewere and Marshall Munetsi.
“Teenage and Alec are coming. For France-based Tino and Marshall, there are 50%-50% chances of them coming. There is still hope, but for the UK-based players the chances are very slim,” he said.
Skipper Knowledge Musona, who is based in Belgium and has been a doubt to make it for the match because of injury, has since confirmed availability.
Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat has, however, been ruled out after failing to recover from injury and is only expected to return to full training on April 2.
Of the home-based players, only goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda joined camp yesterday together with the technical team.
Other home-based players who include FC Platinum midfielder Brian Banda, Dynamos’ King Nadolo, Bulawayo Chiefs duo of Farai Matare and Shadreck Nyahwa, Carlos Mavhurume of Caps United and Harare City midfielder Tatenda Tavengwa have all been put on stand-by.
Zimbabwe, who sit second in their group behind Algeria who have already qualified, take on Botswana, away on March 25, before hosting Zambia at the National Sports Stadium four days later.
A win against Botswana will qualify the Warriors to the tournament if Zambia fail to beat Algeria in the other match.
- Follow Tawanda on Twitter @Tafitawa