Zimbabwe name squad despite Fifa ban threat
Zimbabwe National Football Team has named a 23-member squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations despite the threat of a Fifa ban.
The Warriors are in the same Group B as Malawi at the continental showpiece which kicks off on January 6.
Zimbabwe open their campaign against Senegal on January 10 before lining up against the Flames four days later.
According to bbc.com, Fifa had made indications on December 21 that a ban “may have to be imposed on” Zimbabwe unless the elected Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) officials regained control by Monday.
Zimbabwe crossed paths with the world football governing body after a government body called Sports and Recreation Commission suspended the Zifa board last month.
The commission had informed Fifa about appointing a nine-member “restructuring committee” which could be in place until December 2022.
Fifa disapproves of governmental interference in the running of member associations and has banned countries from all forms of football as a result in the past.
There are just 23 players on the list for the finals in Cameroon despite competing nations being allowed to submit up to 28 names to help deal with any Covid problems at the finals.
It is not clear whether it was the Fifa-recognised Zifa board or a secretariat that is running day-to-day matters with guidance from the SRC.
Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, Tawanda Maswanhise of Leicester City, Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi, Plymouth Argyle’s Brendan Galloway and Wigan Athletic’s Tendayi Darikwa will all miss the tournament through injury.
Also missing is Khama Billiat, who plays for Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa, after he announced last month that he had retired from international football.
The squad does include striker Knowledge Musona, Lyon forward Tinotenda Kadewere and defender Teenage Hadebe, who plays in Major League Soccer with Houston Dynamo.
Left-back Jordan Zemura from English Championship side Bournemouth had been an injury doubt but has been included, along with Leicester-born forward Admiral Muskwe, who plays for Luton Town.
There is also a place on the list for former Celtic midfielder Kundai Benyu, who now plies his trade in Iceland. He last played for the national team in 2017.