Zimbabwe/Botswana: Musona to Miss Zebras Friendly

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

Albert Marufu

31 December 2011

ZIMBABWE’S Europe-based duo of Knowlegde Musona and Ovidy Karuru will miss January 7’s international friendly match against Botswana as Zifa has no money to bring them into the country. Zifa communications manager Nicholette Dhlamini Moyo said Zifa has no budget to bring the Europe-based players.

“We do not have money to bring foreign-based players, but we are going to take advantage of those players who are here for holidays,” Moyo said.

However, senior team coach Norman Mapeza has bemoaned the team’s preparations for the international friendly.

Mapeza said he cannot make preparations now with regards to naming a team because he has not heard anything from Zifa since the day he was informed of the friendly match.

“We are still to name the team because I do not know the arrangements. I have never spoken with anyone from Zifa to tell me of the arrangements besides being informed of the friendly match.

“This is very unfortunate because there is no time. To make matters worse, this is holiday time and players need to be told in time. We also have to know the travelling arrangements.

“Our opponents are taking this friendly match seriously as they are using it as part of their preparations for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. I can only announce the team after getting the travelling arrangements from the association,” he said.

Mapeza also dispelled as rumour talk that Zimbabwe might play the friendly match without the Kaizer Chiefs quartet of Tinashe Nengomasha, Zhaimu Jambo, Lincoln Zvasiya and Thomas Sweswe.

Kaizer Chiefs have lined up a friendly against Ghana’s Blacks Stars scheduled for January 12 so it remains to be seen if Chiefs will release the quartet to play for their national team against Botswana.

However, Mapeza said he had not heard anything from the clubs intimating that they also wanted to use the players on the same date.

“The match falls on a day reserved by Fifa for international friendly matches so I do not know how a club can refuse to release players. As far as I know, we will be fielding our strongest side in Botswana,” he said.

Botswana, who became the first team to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, have been preparing for the tournament in South Africa. They are caged in Group D together with continental heavyweights Ghana, Mali and Guinea.

Zimbabwe last played a friendly match against South Africa which they won 2-1 with Musona scoring a brace while Bradley Grobler scored for South Africa.

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