Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FOUR locally-based players were yesterday dropped with their slots in the 18-man squad for this afternoon’s friendly match against Malawi at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre taken by those playing outside the country.
Phineas Bamusi, Ishmael Wadi, Stanley Ngala and Qadir Amin were axed from the Warriors squad ahead of the team’s departure for Malawi by a chartered flight yesterday.
Their places in the squad were taken up by Devine Lunga, Dennis Dauda, Tafadzwa Rusike and Evans Katema. Lunga is based in South Africa while Dauda, Rusike and Katema are playing club football in Zambia. Some of the foreign-based players will link up with the rest of the team in Malawi’s commercial capital city.
Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela said the decision to drop the four was made by the Zdravko Logarušic-led technical team after team’s training session on the artificial turf at Zifa Village. They used the artificial turf since Kamuzu Stadium has a non-natural surface.
Gwesela is the acting Warriors team manager for this assignment in Malawi.
“They conducted two training sessions before departure, they trained at the Zifa Village artificial turf. It was a technical decision to drop some players, the players were told on Saturday after the training session,’’ Gwesela said.
Zimbabwe are using the friendly against Malawi to prepare for the resumption of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria home and away next month. The back to back fixtures were meant to take place in March but were postponed because of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
1. Talbert Shumba (Triangle United)
2. Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
3. Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn)
4. Dennis Dauda (Napsa Stars)
5. Alec Mudimu (Sherriff Tiraspol)
6. Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Buildcon)
7. Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor)
8. MacClive Phiri (Sekhukhune United)
9. Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana FC)
10. Devine Lunga (Golden Arrows)
11. Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa)
12. Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows)
13. Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)
14. Wellington Taderera (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
15. Tafadzwa Rusike (Zesco United)
16. King Nadolo (Dynamos)
17. Charlton Mashumba (Polokwane City)
18. Evans Katema (Zanaco)
Zdravko Logarušic (head coach)
Lloyd Chitembwe (assistant coach)
Tonderai Ndiraya (assistant coach)
Tembo Chuma (goalkeepers’ coach)
Xolani Ndlovu (team doctor) — @Mdawini_29