When ZIFA announced the provisional squad for last month’s World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and South Africa on their Twitter handle, one response caught the eye.
An Ipswich Town fan joked that the club’s striker Macauley Bonne’s name had been spelt wrong so for that reason, he was not coming to Zimbabwe for the two matches.
Of course, it was something said on a lighter note, but it does somewhat show those affiliated to Ipswich might actually feel that Bonne donning the Warriors shirt, is a huge favor to this football-passionate nation.
Bonne, just like all United Kingdom-based players, ended up not travelling for the Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia matches, owing to the harsh law imposed by the Boris Johnson-led administration regarding returnees from countries under the Covid-19 ‘Red List’.
That restriction is however not the actual reason the free-scoring 25-year did not show up. Barring it, he was still not going to answer former coach Zdravko Logarusic’s call.
It has since emerged that the former Charlton Athletic striker ignored the call to play for Zimbabwe in the last qualifiers, just like he did on several occasions in the past.
It has also emerged that the passport Warriors Team Manager Wellington Mpandare toiled to facilitate a few years ago for the striker to be able to represent this country, is still in Harare.
Is it not time we simply tell ourselves that the boy has shown very little, in fact no interest at all, to play for Zimbabwe?
A lot of fans were surprised by the decision made by new interim coach Norman Mapeza to overlook him when he selected the squad to do battle with Ghana in a crucial World Cup qualifiers double-header next week but the reality is they did so due to lack of commitment on the part of the striker, despite the form he is in.
Logarusic might have been clueless in most aspects of the beautiful game but he was right about one thing in particular- there should be no room for uncommitted players in the national team.
The reason(s) Bonne has for not wanting to play for the Warriors are purely best known by him but one can’t help but speculate.
Could it be that he feels he is too good to play for Zimbabwe? Hopefully not, but if that is the case, how can we explain the fact that Tendayi Darikwa and Brendan Galloway, two players who pay in the same league as Bonne (English League 1) but have had stints in the Championship and Premier League respectively, are more than committed to the Warriors cause?
Could it be that at 25, the players feels he still has the chance to play for England at senior level? That would be a respectable choice, especially if communicated of.
Whatever Bonne chooses in his international career, it’s good for him and we simply wish him the best but in doing so, we should simply not appear as if we are forcing him to play for Zimbabwe and if, or when he chooses us in the future, let us simply shut the door for him.
Go Warriors Go!