Zifa trail Costa

THE Warriors technical team, led by Sunday Chidzambga, are pursuing Costa Nhamoinesu with the hope of persuading him to reverse his decision to quit international football so that he can be part of the training squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.

Chidzambga is today expected to announce the Afcon training squad as well as the team that will participate in the Cosafa tournament.

The veteran coach and his team were finalising the two squads yesterday ahead of announcement today.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare said he was still trying to get in touch with the Czech Republic-based star to possibly persuade him into changing his mind.

“From what I gather, Costa was misled by some people into believing that he is not part of the coach’s plans for the Afcon. There has been people posting a purported Warriors squad on social media and that has created confusion. People are using that list to mislead players. It appears Costa was frustrated by that. So, I have been trying to talk to him. I have sent him some messages and I’m waiting for his response,” Mpandare said.

“Under normal circumstances, he should have spoken to Zifa or members of the technical team before making the announcement public, so I’m also checking the authenticity of the Twitter post.”

Nhamoinesu had been ignored in the qualifiers after he fell out with the technical team, but it appears he was in the frame for a recall to the side ahead of the Afcon finals that will be played in Egypt, starting on June 21 and ending on July 19.

The Sparta Prague defender has been in the best form of his career this season, which saw him being handed the captain armband at the club, a huge honour for an African to be given the mandate to lead a European club.

The defender last played for the Warriors at the 2017 Afcon finals that were staged in Gabon.

Nhamoinesu is reported to have fallen out of favour with the current technical team after he refused to travel by road to South Africa for the Cosafa Cup tournament last year.

The tournament was staged in Polokwane and Zifa saw it prudent for the team to travel by bus as opposed to flying to Johannesburg then making a road trip back to Polokwane.

Mpandare is hoping that Nhamoinesu responds today before the squad announcement.

Just like Nhamoinesu, another player that is likely to get a recall into the squad is big striker Nyasha Mushekwi.

The China-based player also last played for the Warriors in Gabon and has been overlooked ever since.

British-born striker Macauley Bonne is also still being considered although his passport application forms are yet to arrive in Harare.

Chidzambga is expected to stick mostly with the players that did duty in the qualifiers for the Afcon training squad. Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze of Baroka United and Terrence Dzvukamanja of Bidvest Wits are set to be rewarded for their good showing in the South African Premier League last season, with national team call-ups.

Dzvukamanja is carrying a groin injury though and his inclusion will depend on the severity of the problem. Zifa were expected to receive his medical report yesterday.

Zimbabwe will face Egypt in the opening match of the tournament in June before they face the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in Group A.

A friendly match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on June 8 has already been confirmed, while there is also a possibility of playing Morocco or South Africa, or both.

Meanwhile, Chidzambga is also expected to name a 27-member squad for the Cosafa tournament, which begins in South Africa later this month.

With the Cosafa coinciding with the friendly match in Nigeria, the Warriors technical team has been forced to pick a separate squad that will travel to Durban.

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