Local players for Zambia friendly
WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa has ruled out all foreign-based players, including those based in South Africa, for the high-profile friendly international against Zambia at the National Sport Stadium on Saturday.
The match will start at 6PM and will be played under floodlights.
Pasuwa was last night still putting the final touches to his squad for the Zambian encounter and is now expected to announce his team today.
He will then come up with another squad, including foreign-based players, for another international friendly match against Tanzania at the giant stadium on November 13.
With the Fifa week only starting on Monday, Pasuwa’s team against Chipolopolo has been restricted to the home-based players.
Even those South Africa-based players, whose clubs are not involved in the Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final matches set for the weekend, appear to have been ruled out of the match against Zambia.
The Telkom Knockout Cup matches will feature the battle between Baroka and Cape Town City, Mamelodi Sundowns faces SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates play Highlands Park on Saturday while Kaizer Chiefs will host Free State Stars in Durban on Sunday.
Earlier reports had indicated that the inactive ABSA Premiership players were set to make it for the match against Zambia.
Other reports had indicated that captain Willard Katsande had been given leave by his club Kaizer Chiefs to play in that match and was set to arrive in the capital on Saturday.
Pasuwa will also have to overlook players from FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum who are involved in the Chibuku Super Cup final this Saturday which starts at 2PM at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro.
Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa said they had decided to move the international match against Zambia to 6PM so they don’t provide a counter attraction to the Chibuku Super Cup final.
“There are some people who might be interested in watching both matches and we felt it was unfair not to give them a chance and that is why the friendly international match against Zambia has now been moved to start at 6PM,” said Chiyangwa.
“We also had to take into consideration the sponsors who have stuck with our football and the fact that they need, in this big match in our calendar, to be given support rather than a counter attraction.
“The change in kick-off time is actually a blessing in disguise because it’s very hot in the afternoon right now and in cooler conditions we believe the players will give a good account of themselves to try and impress the coach.
“We have a lot of talent in this country, among the players who play in the local league, and our opponents Zambia demonstrated in 1994 that, when it comes to the national team, you can assemble a very competitive side outside the regular players after they went all the way to the final of the Afcon despite losing most of their first-team players in that plane crash.”
Pasuwa is now expected to reward some of the players from the leading teams in the league like the title-chasing duo of Highlanders and Caps United.
Caps United defender Hardlife Zvirekwi is a regular in the Warriors’ side, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Dennis Dauda and midfielder Devon Chafa may get places in the team that will face Chipolopolo.
The coach might also give a chance to youthful players such as Highlanders and Young Warriors forward Prince Dube as well as King Nadolo.
Regular faces in the home-based Warriors include the Harare City trio William Manondo, Raphael Manuvire and Ronald Chitiyo.
Dynamos Tatenda Mukuruva and Bernard Donovan have been regulars for Pasuwa in his squads while Chicken Inn’s Elvis Chipezeze is an option.