THE Zimbabwe Warriors may be without their regulars for the Bafana Bafana match, but Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chiefs were said to be trying to get English Premier League side Aston Vila to allow maverick midfielder Marvelous Nakamba to travel to Harare.
The Warriors play Bafana Bafana in their opening 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in Harare on Friday.
Nakamba is one of the seven England-based Warriors players who are highly unlikely to make the trip after the Premier League and the Championship clubs voted against the release of players travelling to countries red-listed in the UK’s Covid-19 regulations as high risk zones.
The English clubs are worried these players will miss some league matches upon arrival back in the UK as they would have to undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine period.
The Warriors general manager Wellington Mupandare was quoted as saying in News Day that Zifa was comforted by the news that Argentina announced on Sunday that their Villa Park-based stars goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and midfielder Emiliano Buendia were available.
Martinez and Buendia were joined by Tottenham Hotspurs’ Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero.
Argentina, like Zimbabwe, is also on the UK’s red list and Villa will be guilty of inconsistency in application of their Covid-19 regulations if they don’t release Nakamba.
Mupandare said he and other Zifa officials have constantly been on the phone and churning out e-mails to twist the arms of some clubs.
“A precedent has been set so we have written to Aston Villa again and we are hopeful this time they will let Marvelous Nakamba come,” Mupandare told News Day.
The Warriors may be racing against time to get all their regulars for this match but they will still pose great danger to Bafana with DStv Premiership stars such as Sarupinda, Billiat, Kuda Mahachi, Onismor Bhasera and veteran goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
Former Orlando Pirates defender Marshall Munetsi, who is now an enforcer at French club Stade Reims and played against Lionel Messi’s PSG in a league match at the weekend, is also part of the Warriors squad.