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ZIFA set to convince Billiat to come out of retirement ahead of AFCON

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has begun efforts to convince recently retired Warriors forward Khama Billiat (31) to come out of retirement and return to the senior national team fold.

Warriors manager, Wellington Mpandare told the state owned Herald newspaper of his plans to engage the Kaizer Chiefs star to persuade him to play what might be regarded as his last AFCON tournament in his football career.

“I still have to engage Khama Billiat and try to talk to him about the possibility of playing at the 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon,’’ the Warriors manager said.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns player made a surprise announcement to quit international football last month, exactly ten years after he made his debut for the Warriors.

His retirement saw a huge outcry from those who still believe the dribbling wizard’s skills could help the Warriors perform better at the biennial continental competition in Cameroon next year January.

Many still believe the 31-year-old has the touch and can add value to the national team at the upcoming AFCON finals.

Mpandare admitted that expectations were that Billiat would retire after playing the 2021 AFCON competition.

But despite the player having quit the national team, the manager remains hopeful that he will change his mind and play his last games for Zimbabwe.

Its being reported that envoys that include legendary sportscaster Charles Mabika will visit Billiat in South Africa to talk to him to return to the squad.

“Obviously, we knew that one day he would retire from international football but we all thought that the time would come after the AFCON tournament. Even Knowledge has said that he will play his last AFCON in Cameroon.

‘‘So, we are hoping to have a good engagement,’’ Mpandare added

Billiat’s name is reportedly amongst the provisional Warriors 40 member squad that was forwarded by ZIFA to the continental football mother body, CAF, before the deadline of 15 November, 2021.

The former Warriors poster boy grabbed a brace over the weekend before he was named man of the match when his side defeated Moroka Swallows 3-1. Nehanda Radio