Zimbabwe’s squad for the Fifa World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia next week suffered a major blow after the British government turned down Fifa’s request for players traveling to Covid-19 red-listed countries to be exempt from 10-day quarantine upon return. They will be without Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) as well as Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth), Brendon Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Macauley Bonne (Ipswich), Tendai Darikwa (Wigan), and Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town) all in the lower divisions of English football, while David Moyo (Hamilton) could also be barred from traveling.
South Africa coach Hugo Broos has been pleasantly surprised by the “fantastic” state of the pitch at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, which is an additional plus for this match. Bafana’s medical team withdrew Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Thabiso Kutumela and defender Thibang Phete (Belenenses) from the squad after their Covid-19 tests returned positive, but their squad is full with quality players for the best teams in South African Premier League, and internationals such as Percy Tau (Al Ahly), Gift Links (Aarhus), Luther Singh (FC Copenhagen), Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy), and Siyanda Xulu (Hapoel Tel Aviv).
Zimbabwe with this absence is heavily weakened and South Africa could reach important three points in the opening round in Group G.