The Zimbabwe Warriors have been disqualified from participating at the AFCON Finals to be held in Cameroon in January 2022. The reason for the disqualification is that they fielded an ineligible player Captain Knowledge Musona in their match against Botswana.
A letter from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) dated 1 April 2021, Savanna News reports, shows that the Warriors Captain accumulated three yellow card bookings consecutively against Zambia and Algeria. This made him not entitled to play against Botswana.
According to Bulawayio24, ZIFA has not responded to the print. Also, efforts to get clarification from the ZIFA officials were fruitless while the Warriors general manager Wellington Mupandare was not responding to his calls.
Unfortunately, confirmed statistics show that indeed the Warriors captain had been booked three consecutive times before the Botswana clash which made him unable to play. This is a huge blow for the Zimbabwe national team which was hoping to make an impact at the finals next year.
Zimbabwe Disqualified From AFCON
The warriors qualified under knotty circumstances taking into account that most of the regular players were not part of the squad due to COVID-19 concerns and injuries. Musona led a severely depleted side against Botswana and miraculously managed to squeeze a one-nil victory at the away game.
After the qualification, the warriors rested all the important players against Zambia a match which was considered a dead rubber. The reason to rest all players like Musona was to make sure they do not get more yellow cards and pick up crucial injuries before the AFCON finals to be held in Cameroon.
This disqualification is very terrible news especially after Zimbabweans and other players who could make it had congratulated the team and was really looking forward to the challenge. Soccer fans are hoping something can be done so that the warriors can compete at the big stage next year.