By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Four Zimbabwean senior international players have been banned from playing for national team, atleast during the tenure of the current Association President Dr. Philip Chiyangwa.
In a wide ranging interview with the Sundaymail newspaper Chiyangwa practically labelled the four players mercenaries.
The players are captain Willard Katsande of Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa, Cuthbert Malajila of Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa, Nyasha Mushekwi plying his in trade and Mathew Rusike. The four have been fingered as masterminds of the infamous boycott just before the team left to compete at the 2017 Gabon Afcon tournament.
Interestingly, captain Katsande announced his retirement from international duty in a huff after the 4-2 loss to Tunisia. But he rescinded decision.
The damper has been placed on the players and Dr. Chiyangwa told the newspaper that interim coach Norman Mapeza not not to stress by inviting the four.
“There are players who will never, ever play for the national team during my tenure, in fact during my football life. I emphasise never, ever Chiyangwa told the Sunday Mail.
“They kissed goodbye to the national team when they snubbed the acting president. They sabotaged us and some of them even tried to beat up my vice president (Omega Sibanda).
“They taught us lessons and the coach has been debriefed accordingly. We have told him to use any other players but not these players who are full of nonsense.” , Chiyangwa said.
It is sad development for any footballer to end national team careers in a such a state.
But await to hear the reactions of the affected players. Some of them are are approaching the 30 year old and others already crossed that. It could just as well be a retirement statement for them.
Zimbabwe opens the 2019 Cameroon Afcon qualifiers against Liberia. In the same group they have Congo and Congo Democratic Republic.