The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) reportedly instructed interim Warriors coach, Joey Antipas not to call certain players for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Somalia.
The surprise exclusions include the Warriors’ three captains at the 2019 AFCON finals — Knowledge Musona, Ovidy Karuru and Danny Phiri.
Goalkeepers George Chigova and Edmore Sibanda were also overlooked among other players in what observers consider to be a purge of those who were vocal during the failed AFCON campaign.
ZIFA officials came under fire for allegedly taking their concubines to Egypt whom they showered with hundreds of dollars while players’ allowances were not paid.
The Herald cites unnamed sources who revealed that Antipas was ‘forced’ to leave out some players. Said the sources:
Joey Antipas told the ZIFA officials that they have to address that issue because it was their call and, in return, the ZIFA officials said the coaches should provide an explanation which didn’t trigger any controversy.
The coach felt it would be unfair for him to say something that wasn’t true because he knew these were not just fringe players and this is also a World Cup qualifier.
So, there was a deadlock, but everyone knew that this issue would come up, the questions about why some of the regulars were not in the squad.
ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela dismissed the claims saying that the coach used his discretion in the selection of the national team and ZIFA didn’t interfere with the selection of the national team.