Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare says they have a fallback plan if foreign-based players are unavailable for their World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia early next month.
This comes after English Premier League and English Football League clubs announced that they will not release players for international duty during the September window.
The clubs cited travel restrictions imposed by the British government on red-listed countries that required travellers to quarantine for 10 days on return to the United Kingdom, meaning that players would miss up to three domestic matches.
Zimbabwe could be without Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Brendan Galloway, David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), as well as striker Admiral Muskwe since the country is on the UK’s COVID-19 “red list”.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Wednesday wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to intervene.
Mpandare expressed hope that the involvement of Infantino would make English clubs reconsider their decision. He said:
It is welcome news that FIFA has also chipped in. It shows that they want the best players to represent their nations.
Honestly, FIFA would love to have the top players playing in the competition, which is the whole purpose of it being called the World Cup.
We have plan B, but we all know that will not be the best. We have players that we have shortlisted and are on standby if we fail to get the players that we want.
We will keep our figures crossed that we get the players and so we want to play with our best team so that when we lose there is no excuse that we used a weak team. So, we are happy that FIFA is also pushing.