Zimbabwe: Big Boost for Warriors Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers

The Zimbabwe Warriors have been handed a major selection boost ahead of next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia.

This is after it emerged that the team’s European-based players who were doubtful for the matches due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and quarantine rules in Europe are now set to be available for selection ahead of the two crucial encounters.

World football governing body FIFA announced on Sunday that European clubs will no longer be able to hold on to their international players even if they face quarantine on their return from national duty during the September international window.

FIFA had given the clubs a temporary waiver to deny their players permission to go for international duty last year.

This was in the wake of the stringent travel restrictions put in place around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Warriors were affected by the new ruling, with most Europe-based players missing the last two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia in March.

After being forced to field a makeshift squad for the AFCON qualifiers the Warriors technical team was sweating over the availability of its Europe-based players ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

However, FIFA’s new directive has handed the team a big boost with most national team stars such as Tino Kadewere, Marshall Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba, Tendayi Darikwa, Jordan Zemura, Brendan Galloway among others now expected to feature in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.