Saturday, 6 March 2021

VILLA BLOCKS NAKAMBA

 Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba  has been blocked by his English Premier League club Aston Villa from travelling to Zimbabwe for the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia this monthend.

Yesterday, Aston Villa confirmed that they would block Nakamba from travelling to Zimbabwe for the two matches.

He is one of the three players that the English Premier League side barred from representing their countries at the end of this month.

The other players that have been blocked are goalkeeper Emi Martinez (Argentina) and Douglas Luiz of Brazil.

The countries are among the 32 red-listed nations which have had travel bans placed on them by the British government.

It means should people travel to and from those red-listed countries then each person will have to self-isolate at an airport hotel for 10 days upon their arrival.

“I’ve sat down with all three of them and it’s our right to stop them from travelling to a red list zone,” said Aston Villa coach Dean Smith.

“They’re disappointed because they want to represent their countries but they understand as well. I’m pretty sure all Premier League teams will stop players from going to red-list zones where they’re required to self-isolate for 10 days in a hotel when they get back. All three players are aware of Aston Villa’s stance on travelling to a red-list zone.”

Smith added: “At the end of the day, the football clubs are the wage payers to these players and we’ve never stood in the way and we’ve always celebrated players being international footballers.

“We will continue to do so but, such is the world is at the moment when Fifa and Uefa are telling you that you don’t have to allow your players to go to red-list zones then it’s only right to take them up on that.”

There is, however, some relief for Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić after Belgian side KAS Eupen confirmed this week that they will release captain Knowledge Musona for international duty.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva has revealed he is excited and buzzing after receiving a recall into the senior national team for this month’s two Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers. Newsday

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