Total goals scored

Huge relief on availability of foreign-based players in Warriors squad

FIFA has reportedly lifted the privilege for teams to withhold their players ahead of the September international window.

The world football body had given the clubs the power to decide on whether to release their players or not for international duty when the coronavirus outbreak started last year. This followed after several countries in Europe and America put stringent travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

The Warriors were affected by these amendments, with most of their key players based in Europe missing some important games, including the decisive 2021 Afcon Qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia in March.

And with Zimbabwe among the countries on the continent still affected by the pandemic, the availability of these players next month was still in doubt, but the latest revelations have eased the concerns.

A FIFA spokesman told The Mail on Sunday newspaper: “The temporary amendment was in place until April 2021 and is no longer in effect nor is it intended to be applied for September.

“Since the outset of the pandemic, FIFA has continued to work in close cooperation with the confederations, member associations and respective authorities, monitoring the different restrictions and exemptions around the world.

“The regulations have reflected this process, as best as is possible at the global level.

“FIFA is confident that the situation will continue as it was the case in June for qualifiers and final continental tournaments and that players will be able to travel to play with their national teams and return to play with their clubs.”

The Warriors will face South Africa in their first Group G game before travelling to Ethiopia for their second outing during the international week of 1-8 September.

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