BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
INFORM Charlton Athletic striker Macauley Bonne remains a doubt for the Warriors’ Afcon qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia next month despite being named in the provisional 32-member squad for the assignments released last week.
Bonne leads a host of Europe-born or bred players with Zimbabwe roots who are yet to feature for the country in competitive matches included in the enlarged squad announced by caretaker coach Joey Antipas on Wednesday.
The list includes three teenagers Jonah Reinhard Fabisch (18), Tivonge Rushesha (17), and Jordan Zemura (19) as well as Douglas Nyaupembe (20).
Bolton Wanderers’ Adam Chicksen (28) and Cliff Moyo (26) who like Bonne have played in unofficial matches for Zimbabwe before complete the list of players whose participation in Afcon qualifiers is doubtful.
But it is Bonne’s wait to get a Zimbabwe passport which has been agonising since he featured and scored for the Young warriors in a friendly tie against Morocco about five years ago.
Hopes were high for Bonne to lead the warriors attack at the Afcon finals in Egypt in July and August, yet he remains doubtful for the upcoming qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia respectively.
“There are no new developments on Bonne. We are still hoping and pushing with the help of relevant authorities to try and make sure he gets his Zimbabwean passports. I can’t say for sure that everything will be sorted by the time of the Afcon qualifiers,” Warriors managers Wellington Mpandare said.
Mpandare with the help of his contacts in Europe has been leading the hunt for players playing in foreign leagues who have their roots in the country, but is not confident is any of the players called up will have requisite papers in time to play for in the upcoming assignments.
“That’s a very tricky question which probably needs the coach to respond. My job to get the names of the players that he wants in the team and try to bring those players for him,” he said.
Warriors coach Antipas’ phone was unreachable by the time of going to the press.
However, Swansea Under-19 player Rushesha’s passport is believed to have expired as well as that of Zemura who plays for English Premier League side Bournemouth’s Under-21 team.
German based starlet Fabisch, son to legendary for Warriors coach Reinhardt Fabisch who was in the country early is understood to have his papers in order.
The same cannot be said for Atherton Collieries defender Nyaupembe, Chicken and Moyo.
Seemingly with the Warriors’ future in mind, Antipas also called up Spain based young goalkeeper Martin Mapisa to understudy Zimbabwe number one Elvis Chipezeze and Warriors CHAN first choice Simbarashe Chinani.
The 21-year-old Mapisa, an Aces Youth Academy product, plays for Vélez FC in the third tier Spanish league.
Zimbabwe hosts Botswana on the opening Afcon 2021 qualifier on November 15 before travelling to Zambia for a date with Chipolopolo days later.