Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
A Hwange boy, Claivert Tshuma has been controversially dropped from the Zimbabwe Under-17 national side that is in camp in preparation for the forthcoming Cosafa Championship slated for South Africa from Thursday this week.
Tshuma is alleged to be over 17 years following the results of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan whose outcome allegedly showed that he was above 17 years. The physical results were however not shown to Tshuma, raising suspicions that there were tampered with so that ‘preferred’ boys will be accommodated for the trip down South. A member of the technical team said Tshuma was an automatic starter because of his talent and work rate.
His documents show that he was born at Victoria Falls Hospital on January 21, 2004.
Tafadzwa Mashiri, who shocked many after his provisional 36 men squad failed to even have a single player from Bulawayo, heads the Under-17 technical bench and is assisted by Agent Sawu and John Nyikadzino while Chenjerai Dube is the goalkeepers’ coach.
A distraught Tshuma yesterday said he was still in a state of shock even though there was nothing he could do now. He also questioned why he was never shown the results.
“I was only told by word of mouth that the MRI scan showed that I was over 17-year-old, which to me was a shocker because I am 16 years but look, they have decided I be dropped therefore there is nothing more I can do. All I want now is just to clear my name by having another scan because I am not a cheater, I never was,” said Tshuma who was voted the Defender of the Tournament at last year’s Copa Cocacola tournament for the Under-16s which was held in Kenya.
His mother Sylivia Maphosa, like her son, cried foul.
“I am his mother, I know when I gave birth to my son, it was on January 21, 2004 at Victoria Falls Hospital and for me to be told that he is over 17 years is just unbelievable. We demand to see those results. I strongly suspect that someone switched those results so as to accommodate their own boys, whom we hear are clearly older. The assistant coach, a Nyikadzino actually harassed my son, calling him all sorts of names and that traumatised him a lot, on top of being dropped from the national team where he was a regular and then a whole grown up man starts to humiliate my boy for something, he clearly has no idea of,” said Maphosa.
She said given resources, she would fight to clear her son’s image and prove that all this was done to accommodate some people’s boys.
“Being dropped in the national team is part of the game, if other players are better than you there is nothing the coaches can do but my son was not dropped because of talent, a sinister motive is behind all this. I demand justice and those responsible for this must face the music, such blatant corruption must not be allowed,” she said.