By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa was yesterday called up to the Warriors’ Chan squad to face Mauritius on Sunday while it emerged that Joel Ngodzo was left out because his passport expired.
There was an outcry from a cross section of Zimbabwean fans when the two players were left out of the initial 32 players called up for the first-leg encounter in Mauritius.
Coaches seem to have given in to pressure hence the decsion to draft in Muduhwa.
“Ngodzo does not have the necessary travel documents and as such he was left out. What we have been told officially is that his passport expired,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
Ngodzo was however part of the national team’s training friendly against Yadah FC yesterday.
Muduhwa becomes the fourth Highlanders’ player called up to the national team after goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku and striker Prince Dube.
“For the hard work, commitment and consistency, @PMuduhwa has been considered for the national team Chan qualifiers squad. He joins teammates @SibandaAriel, @princemgadafi and Nqobizitha Masuku. The club wishes the players and the national team all the best,” Highlanders tweeted.
The return leg of the Chan qualifier is set for Barbourfields Stadium, with the winner setting a date with either Lesotho or South Africa for the final round of qualifiers. The finals will be hosted by Cameroon next year.
The first tournament, hosted by Cote d’Ivoire, was held in 2009 and won by DR Congo. It was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament held in Sudan in 2011 and Tunisia were the champions.
South Africa hosted the 2014 event where Zimbabwe emerged fourth behind Nigeria and Ghana, who lost 4-3 on penalties against Libya.
The last Chan tournament was hosted and won by Morocco. The Chronicle