England-based Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is disappointed to miss Zimbabwe’s crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia later this month, his coach at Aston Villa Dean Smith has revealed.
Smith said that he spoke with Nakamba together with Argentinean goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Brazilian international Douglas Luiz about the club’s decision to bar them to travel for international matches due to the United Kingdom’s strict coronavirus rules. Smith said:
I’ve sat down with all three of them and it’s our right to stop them from travelling to a red-list zone.
They’re disappointed because they want to represent their countries but they understand as well.
I’m pretty sure all Premier League teams will stop players from going to red-list zones where they’re required to self-isolate for 10 days in a hotel when they get back.
All three players are aware of Aston Villa’s stance on travelling to a red-list zone.
Smith added that under normal circumstances, Aston Villa had never prevented players from playing for their countries. He said:
At the end of the day, the football clubs are the wage payers to these players and we’ve never stood in the way and we’ve always celebrated players being international footballers.
We will continue to do so but, such is the world is at the moment when FIFA and UEFA are telling you that you don’t have to allow your players to go to red-list zones then it’s only right to take them up on that.
Nakamba was initially named in Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic’s 38-man preliminary squad to face Botswana (March 25) and Zambia (March 29) in the final AFCON qualifiers.