Zimbabwe/Ghana: Mapeza Picks Black Stars Battle Team

(file photo)
22 September 2021

WARRIORS' interim coach, Norman Mapeza, has picked his team for the back-to-back 2022 World Cup qualifiers, against Ghana, next month.

The Black Stars will host the first leg, on October 9, before the two teams clash again, at the National Sports Stadium, three days later.

Wellington Mpandare, the ZIFA general manager in charge of all national teams, who is also the Warriors team manager, said they had already written to the clubs asking for the release of the players.

"The coach has already named the players who will be part of the Warriors team to play against Ghana, in the back-to-back ties, next month," said Mpandare.

"We have already dispatched letters to the concerned clubs where the players ply their trade.

"The squad will be announced in the coming days, after the necessary confirmations, are completed.

"We are hoping that all the players, who have been chosen by the coach, will travel for the crucial fixtures."

Mpandare, who dismissed the squad circulating on social media as a fake one, said Mapeza included some local-based players, in the team.

Home-based players have largely not been considered due to the inactivity in the local game.

Only Dynamos utility player Godknows Murwira, as well as the FC Platinum duo of William Stima and Silas Songani, were part of the squad, during the goalless draw against South Africa.

None of the three, though, was given a chance to play.

But, by the time the squad is expected to assemble, the local game would have kicked off.

The Chibuku Super Cup returns next Wednesday.

The Chibuku Super Cup is returning after three months, after it was halted in June, following a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The local-based players are expected to travel to Ghana, in batches, with the first section scheduled to leave, just after the Chibuku Super Cup matches, on October 3.

"There are some local players who have been included in the team. It is a combination of foreign and local players.

"The local-based players will have to travel soon after their matches for their clubs, on October 3."

Mpandare revealed foreign-based players will all fly direct to Ghana.

"The foreign-based players will fly directly to Ghana, we are working with that in mind.

"All things being equal, the coach wants all the players to be in Ghana by October 5, and we are working towards that."

Mapeza will hoping the UK-based players will be available.

They were barred by their clubs, from travelling for the matches against South Africa and Ethiopia, because of Covid-19 complications.

Aston Villa midfielder Marvellous Nakamba, in-form Bournemouth left-back Jordan Zemura, Tendayi Darikwa, Brendan Galloway, Admiral Muskwe and David Moyo failed to pitch up for the matches against Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia.

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