The big boys are missing but Mapeza is not pressing panic button

04 Jan, 2022 - 12:01 0 Views
The big boys are missing but Mapeza is not pressing panic button Norman Mapeza


Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter

NORMAN Mapeza says he still believes in the quality of the Warriors in camp despite the absence of a number of key players for a number of reasons.

Jordan Zemura, who had been tipped to come of age at the 2021 AFCON finals, is now unlikely to play as the tournament because Covid-19 complications.

A Covid-19 outbreak at his English Championship side, AFC Bournemouth, has complicated issue for Zemura who had been set to arrive in Cameroon tomorrow.

“AFC Bournemouth’s SkyBet Championship match against Peterborough United on Monday 3rd January (yesterday) has been postponed due to a number of injuries and new cases of Covid-19, within the first team squad.

“The Covid-19 cases were confirmed following the Cherries’ latest round of daily testing, carried out in line with the EFL’s Red protocols for first team training setting which were introduced following the emergence of the Omicron variant.

“The Cherries’ application for the postponement was granted by the EFL on Saturday.

“The club has worked hard to try and fulfil the fixture. However, taking into account the injuries and positive COVID-19 cases, it does not have a sufficient number of players available in order to do this.

“All those who tested positive have entered a seven-day period of isolation, in line with Government guidelines.”

Khama Billiat retired from international football in November, last month, Marvelous Nakamba, Brendan Galloway and Marshall Munetsi are injured while Tendayi Darikwa turned down the call for ‘personal reasons.’

Mapeza says he won’t spend his time mourning about those who won’t be in Cameroon but concentrating on making sure those in camp represent the country with distinction.

“We all respect Khama’s decision but let’s not take anything away from these boys,” said Mapeza.

The coach said he would be doing injustice to the boys in camp if he keeps on talking about players missing out.

“If we keep on talking about the players who are not here, I don’t think we will be doing justice for these boys.

“They are also here to play football, they also felt Khama should be here.

“But, he is not here, so we need to concentrate on what we got and this what we have,” he added.

The Warriors technical team was sent into panic after Kuda Mahachi, Kundai Benyu and Petros Mhari limped off in the friendly against Sudan on Sunday.

Warriors manager, Wellington Mpandare, however, yesterday said the injuries are not bad.

“The guys are okay; I can say the injuries are not that bad save for Kuda Mahachi who is still in pain.

“The preparations are going on well. We are expecting David Moyo and Tino Kadewere today (yesterday).

“Knowledge Musona is arriving tomorrow (today) while Admiral Muskwe is arriving on Wednesday,” said Mpandare.

Zimbabwe are in Group B alongside Senegal, Guinea and Malawi.

They open their campaign with a date against the Teranga Lions of Senegal next Monday.

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