MICHAEL MIYOBA writes
WITH hours before Zambia plays Equatorial Guinea in the back-to-back Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Zambia national team Doctor George Phiri has confirmed that midfield genius Enock Mwepu and Striker Evans Kangwa have been ruled out of the games due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia has announced the Great Britain based Patson Daka (Leicester) and Fashion Sakala (Glasgow Rangers) will not be part of the home match on Sunday due to Covid-19 conditions.
“FIFA has secured a conditional waiver with the English FA for players travelling to red listed countries that they will be exempted from the 10-day mandatory quarantine on condition that they are fully vaccinated. Regrettably, our two players (Daka and Sakala) are not fully vaccinated and cannot travel to Zambia for Sunday’s match,” FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said.
In a statement, FAZ Communications Manager Sydney Mungala said the Zambia natuinal team will fly out of Malabo immediately after the game on Thursday on a chartered flight.
The seven-day international camp for the Chipolopolo in Douala, Cameroon ended with the team flying into Malabo.
All the players summoned for the October 7, 2021, engagement with Equatorial Guinea have honoured the call except the two players in Sweden who could not board an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft despite all their documentation being in order.
The duo Emmanuel Banda and Edward Chilufya, who play for Djurgardens IF will only be available for Sunday’s home match against the Nzalang at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
“FAZ had arranged for visas for the travelling contingent into Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea ahead of time and all the players that have joined camp in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have used the same documentation. The visa documentation was shared with all the players and technical staff which they have used for the Cameroon assignment,” Kashala said.
“Two players Lubambo Musonda (Horsens FC-Denmark) and Tandi Mwape (TP Mazembe-DRC) are already in Malabo while Fashion Sakala will link up with the Chipolopolo in Douala and fly with the squad to Malabo. The final arrival will be Mwenya Chibwe who is travelling from Lusaka where he was re-routed to sort out his passport.”
While Mwepu has been ruled out of both the away fixture in Equatorial Guinea and the home fixture in Lusaka, the team doctor said Kangwa would only miss the away fixture after suffering a minor hamstring injury.
Phiri said Kangwa is being worked on and would be fit for the home fixture scheduled for Sunday at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
“The state of players at the moment, generally they are fit and they are doing fine except for two players Enock Mwepu has been rules out because he suffered a growing injury and he is unable to participate in both the away and home fixture against Equatorial Guinea.
“In regards to Evans Kangwa, he has reported for camp he suffered a minor injury in the hamstrings and we are working on him. He might not be ready for the away game against Equatorial Guinea but for sure he will be ready for the home game, in Lusaka. At the moment he is on light training and we are managing him,” Phiri said.
Phiri said that apart from Mwepu and Kangwa, all the players summoned by coach Beston Chambeshi are all fit and ready for the clash against Equatorial Guinea.
Zambia who are second in Group B with three points will play Equatorial Guinea in back-to-back fixtures with the first game scheduled for tomorrow while the reverse fixture will be played on Sunday. Coach Beston Chambeshi has named a 25 member squad consisting of 10 foreign stars led by Leicester City striker Patson Daka and Glasgow Rangers star Fashion Sakala