ZIFA has released the following statement explaining the infamous substitution of Qadr Amini 149 seconds after kick-off in Cameroon yesterday. The Warriors were playing Mali last night when the historic substitution happened.
According to ZIFA Amini was substituted on medical grounds as the board noticed that he was playing despite his medical condition that had been picked during an MRI test:
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ZIFA EXPLANATION REGARDING THE PARTICIPATION OF PLAYER QADR AMINI IN THE AFRICAN NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP (CHAN) TOURNAMENT, CAMEROON 2021
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has noted media inquiries regarding the substitution of Qadr Amini in the third minute of Zimbabwe’s match against Mali at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Doula, Cameroon yesterday (Sunday 24 January 2021).
ZIFA would like to categorically state that in line with CAF’s medical guidelines, there was a test that we were supposed to conduct on all players who had recently recovered from COVID- 19 called Cardiac MRI test.
Our medical team checked among radiology centres in the country and there was none in Zimbabwe conducting such a test.
ZIFA wrote to CAF to arrange and facilitate that the affected CHAN players be tested in Cameroon. All the affected players were tested upon arrival in Yaounde and the Board was notified prior to the commencement of the tournament that the player was not fit to play due to heart complications. A decision was made not to field the player until the recovery of the player and subsequent retests. The Board was shocked to see the player in the starting line-up without the player having undergone another test.
The technical and medical teams were engaged and could not give a convincing explanation on why the player was included. The Board then made a decision to order the technical team not to use the player until a retest had been conducted. The decision was made in the interest of the player’s health.
The Board played its oversight role to protect the player from potential permanent harm that may have included death as well as to safeguard the reputation of the game of football.
The insinuations in some media platforms that such was interference with team selection therefore has no basis.
The ZIFA Board has set a commission of inquiry made up of experts to understand what exactly took place and whether it was proper to field the player.
ZIFA urges the public and media to respect the privacy of the health status of the player and we wish the player a quick recovery.