By Sports Reporter
THE Warriors have been handed a huge morale booster ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations Group B opening clash against Senegal Monday after all the players tested negative in the mandatory pre-match Covid-19 tests conducted Saturday.
ZIFA confirmed the good news in a statement.
“There were no positive cases recorded from Covid-19 PCR tests conducted on the Zimbabwe players yesterday (Saturday),” ZIFA said.
“All 22 Warriors are available for our match against Senegal tomorrow (Monday) at 2 pm [GMT+1] (3 pm Zimbabwe time). Jordan Zemura is out of this one. He is still expected to join the team once he is cleared to travel.”
With the exception of the unavailability of England-based rising star Zemura, who is set to miss the opening match after a delayed arrival in Cameroon, all the other 22 players in camp will be available for selection.
The clean bill of health in the Warriors camp is in stark contrast to the dire situation in the Senegal camp after three of their key players tested Covid-19 positive during the tests conducted Sunday.
Senegal, Africa’s top-ranked team, delayed their departure for the tournament by a day earlier this week after three players and six staff members returned positive tests.
The squad left without the three players who were placed in quarantine.
CAF has said teams will have to play their matches even if they only have 11 players available. An outfield player must go in goal if there is no recognised goalkeeper.
Any team that is unable to fulfill a fixture will forfeit the match 2-0.
CAF officials said in “exceptional cases” the tournament organisers “will take the appropriate decision”.