Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare yesterday said Golden Arrows defender Divine Lunga remains an integral member of the Zimbabwe national senior soccer team.
This comes after the head coach Zdravko Loga Logarusic had declared not to call up players who had previously refused to play for the national team prioritising their clubs.
The 25-year-old natural left-back was believed to be one of the players frozen after he missed the Zimbabwe vs Botswana match claiming he had an injury but went on to play for Golden Arrows a day after claiming to have an injury.
After the 1-0 victory against Botswana in the penultimate Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier match, Loga said he would not call up players who were not patriotic.
Loga insinuated that some players were suddenly available because the team has qualified for the AFCON finals to be hosted by Cameroon next year.
Mpandare, however, cleared the air saying Lunga was still part of the team. He said:
There is speculation going round about Divine Lunga being banned from representing Zimbabwe in future national team assignments. I would like to state that as matter of fact this is not true. Lunga is still open for selection for national duty.
Divine was never suspended or banned from the national team. The coach was only saying he blocked players on WhatsApp who ignored him when he wanted them but he is not blocking them from the national team.
The coach never spoke to Divine and besides Divine is a level-headed boy who does not ignore messages from me or the coach.
Mpandare also said they had received a letter from Lunga’s club which stated that he had sustained an injury. He said:
After we received the letter and him playing against Cape Town City, we got in touch with Lunga who revealed that he was willing to come and be assessed by our own doctors, but there was limited time hence we had to call in Bhasera (Onismor) for cover since the other player, Jordan Zemura, who could have played in that role, had been ruled out by travelling restrictions.
Other names that have been mentioned in the conversation of players who are likely not to be called for national duty include Macauley Bonne who reportedly refused to play in the qualifiers.
More: The Sunday Mail