Zimbabwe Football Association communication manager Xolisani Gwesela has explained why UK-based stars were included in the Warriors squad for the next World Cup qualifiers despite facing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

English clubs, on Tuesday, agreed to bar their players from travelling to red-listed countries during the September international break.

Zimbabwe is on the list that contains the riskiest countries deemed to have the potential to reimport the virus into the UK.

The decision affected seven players, who were selected to face South Africa at home on 3 September before travelling to Ethiopia for the second Group G qualifier four days later.

The stars include Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, Luton striker Admiral Muskwe, Ipswich forward Macauley Bonne, Bournemouth defender Jordan Zemura, David Moyo of Hamilton Academical and Wigan Athletic captain Tendayi Darikwa.

But Warriors technical team has gone to name the affected players in the squad for the games.

Gwesela said ZIFA is engaging the clubs and hope they will release the players.

“We are still hopeful that all players will be available for the matches despite the adverse position taken by the English Premier League to bar players from fulfilling the national assignments citing England’s stringent quarantine regulations,” he said.

“We are engaging all clubs that have intimated that they are going to withhold players, hoping they will fulfil their obligations to release players as stated in the regulations on the status and transfer of players.

“We are confident that the team that we will eventually come up with will still represent the nation with pride and compete to the best of their abilities as true Warriors.”

Warriors Squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants) Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars) Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF)

DEFENDERS: Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo) Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle) Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United) Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth) Divine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns) Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic) Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana) Jimmy Dzingai (Unattached) Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi)

MIDFIELDERS: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune United) Jonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV) Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims) Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) Tafadzwa Rusike, Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United) Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United) Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs) Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC) Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu) Ovidy Karuru (Unattached)

STRIKERS: Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates) Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon) David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town) Knowledge Musona (Al-Tai) Macauley Bonne (Ipswich Town)