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Fabisch out of Cosafa Cup

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

GERMANY-based Warriors teenage star Jonah Fabisch will have to wait a little longer to make his debut for Zimbabwe after he was ruled out of the Cosafa Cup, which gets underway in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old son of the late charismatic former Warriors coach, who plays for German fourth tier side Hamburger SV II, has been excused by the technical team due to Covid-19 regulations in Germany.

Fabisch has played for the German Under-16 side, but has decided to commit to his mother Chawada Kachidza-Fabisch’s country of birth and where his late father enjoyed icon status with his Dream Team project.

The defensive midfielder was part of the 25-member squad announced by coach Zdravko Logarusic early in the week.

However, he was scheduled to join the team in South Africa ahead of the regional tournament where the Warriors kick-off their campaign with a tricky tie against Mozambique on Thursday.

“I can confirm that Jonah Fabisch will not be making it this time,” Zifa’s general manager for all national teams Wellington Mpandare told Standardsport yesterday.

“We had to understand his situation considering that Germany have declared South Africa a red zone area.

“This means that the player would have to observe a 10-day quarantine period when he returns after the tournament.

“What it means is that he may have to be away from his club for a month, which is not good for someone who is trying to establish his place in the team. So, we had to understand his situation.”

This is not the first time that Fabisch has had to pull out of the Warriors’ squad after he excused himself following a call up for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia last year.

His mother wrote to Zifa at the time that his son needed to concentrate on his club football, at Hamburger SV.

Fabisch’s withdrawal brings the number of players, who have dropped out of the squad to three after muscle injury ruled out defender Zambia-based Kevin Moyo, while Golden Arrows striker Knox Mutizwa also asked to be excused so as to attend to his ailing wife.

“We haven’t replaced some of these players, but Ben Musaka has been roped into the squad and he will be on stand-by,” Mpandare said.

“We only need 20 players for Cosafa, so the rest of the players will be on standby.

“The coach is happy with the squad that he has with the majority of the players having turned up.”

Veteran playmaker Ovidy Karuru, who is earmarked for the captain’s armband, headlines the Cosafa squad that includes a lot of new faces.

Other senior players include Zambia-based defender Jimmy Dzingai and Washington Arubi, who is making his return to the national team for the first time since 2015.

The team leaves for South Africa on Monday morning.

Zimbabwe are in Group C along with West African guest nation Senegal, Mozambique and 2015 Cosafa Cup winners Namibia.

They begin their campaign against Mozambique on Thursday, before facing Namibia three days later and concluding their group matches against Senegal.

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