WARRIORS’ fans appear to be divided over the intended inclusion of England-based defender Tendayi Darikwa by coach Kalisto Pasuwa into the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations football finals in Gabon. BY HENRY MHARA
Pasuwa is believed to be seriously considering the player, who turns out for English Premiership side Burnley, in his bid to assemble the strongest squad for the January tournament.
Darikwa, born to expat Zimbabwean parents, has previously been called for Warriors duty, but turned down the offer with reports suggesting he has aspirations to play for England.
It is believed Pasuwa has revived his interest in including the 24-year-old to the squad for Gabon as he tries to fix the team’s defensive department which appears to be the weakest link.
However, the team’s fans, responding to the story published by this newspaper, have mixed feelings over the move.
Some suggest that Pasuwa should stick to the players who helped the team qualify while others think it’s necessary to persuade Darikwa.
“Call everyone who matters so that by January you will have enough options. Eric Chipeta, Peter Muduwa, Patson Jaure, Devon Chafa and George Chigova must all be given a chance,” Africanson posted.
Another reader by the name Blackman posted: “That’s why we are in a mess as a country. That mentality of saying the country cannot be ruled by someone who didn’t go to war is disastrous. Even big teams and countries drop certain players and bring in new ones. I support Pasuwa. Don’t be like England supporters and media who always want to tell the coach what to do.”
Murenga added: “We compete to win and we need all our best players in there. Beating Malawi and Swaziland, who have never qualified for Afcon, should not be taken to mean our team is perfect enough to stand up to Senegal and Algeria. Diego Costa has absolutely no Spanish roots, but has been roped into the Spanish national team. That’s what you do when you know football is about winning and not about flaunting some misplaced pride and pointless purism.”
However, there are others who are against Darikwa’s inclusion.
Wezhira wrote: “Where were these guys during the campaign? It will be very unfair to the guys who made it to Gabon and it is not a secret some of the guys will be dropped from the final squad just to accommodate these rejects.”
Misheck Chiduku said: “If Darikwa chooses to come and play for the Warriors, it would be out of desperation and not out of patriotism. No sane person with better options wants to be associated with the Zimbabwean sorry state where players revolt in order to get their salaries. Nobody wants that to happen to them, always begging for what rightfully belongs to you after sweating on the field of play.”