Warriors threaten boycott

The Zimbabwe national team players are threatening to snub their call-up to a camp in protest at the players which were left out of the squad.

When the Warriors squad was announced last week for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, stalwarts such as Willard Katsande, Cuthbert Malajila, Mathew Rusike and Nyasha Mushekwi were all omitted.

It is believed that Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Philip Chiyangwa was behind the decision, having last week been quoted in the media as saying that the four ‘mercenaries’ would never play for the Warriors while he remained in charge.

This after the four players were said to have stayed away from a send-off dinner with vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the departure for the AFCON finals in Gabon earlier this year.

Subsequently, a senior un-named player, who has been selected for the latest squad, told the NewsDay publication that the players called-up are considering not arriving to stand-in coach Norman Mapeza’s camp.

“It’s crazy to be honest. The captains (Katsande and vice-captain Malajila) were speaking on behalf of the whole team, why sacrifice the two only? If it’s their way to intimidate us, that will not work. We are not coming anyway,” he was quoted saying.

“We know why Nyasha is being treated that way by Zifa. The reason is not football-related at all and we won’t allow our friend to be victimised like that because it can also happen to us. We will support him and even if it means not playing for the Warriors again, so be it.”

On Rusike, the player said: “I’m not sure about Mathew, but we will soon find out. This mafia way of running football has to stop. Chiyangwa should have at least respected the players by not going to the newspapers and declaring that so-and-so players would never play for the Warriors under his tenure. He should respect us.”