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Explained: Why Mapeza picked 23 players instead of 28 in Warriors squad for Afcon 2021

Warriors coach Norman Mapeza named a twenty-three man squad that will do duty at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next month.

The coach had an option to pick up to twenty-eight players in his selection after CAF allowed teams to register bloated squads to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Others Group B teams – Senegal, Guinea and Malawi – added a few more players in their travelling groups but Zimbabwe decided to go to the tournament with the regular twenty-three man squad.

The move is meant to avoid incurring increased costs during the Warriors’ campaign.

The Warriors are scheduled to arrive in West Africa on Thursday and set up camp in Yaounde before leaving for their tournament base in Bafoussam on 5 January.

The national team will take care of itself during the pre-tournament camp in the Cameroonian capital. CAF will take over the welfare of the players and officials from 4 January until the end of the national side’s campaign.

ZIFA also wants to avoid a bloated wage bill which may arise as a result of an enlarged squad.

The association said it will give selected players contracts to avoid potential player-strikes in the Warriors camp.

Warriors Squad for Afcon:

Goalkeepers: Petros Mhari (FC Platinum), Martin Mapisa (FC Zamora), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars).

Defenders: Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Godknows Muriwa (Dynamos), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Onismor Bhasera (Supersport United)

Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Never Tigere (Azam), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Supersport United), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars), Kundai Benyu (Vestra).

Forwards: Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town), Prince Dube (Azam), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), Knowledge Musona (C) (Al Tai), Tinotenda Kadewere (Olympique Lyonnais).

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