Zambian national team coach Milutin Sredojevic will be very disappointed with the news that Red Bull Salzburg duo Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu will not be able to join the squad in the current camp after the players were barred from travelling to international duty by the club.
Salzburg took the decision to not allow all their players to go play for their respective countries after three unnamed first team players tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Zambia are set to travel to South Africa to face Bafana Bafana in an international friendly on the 11th of October, but before that ‘Chipolopolo’ will face Kenya’s Harambee in another game.
‘Micho’ had called seven overseas-based players to his squad, but now he will have to do without the two most impressive of those players in his squad which is a big blow for both parties.
Speaking to FARPost, Mwepu shared his disappointment with not being able to join the national team.
“Yes we were all set and ready to leave after the game over the weekend, but due to corona issues, we (him and Daka) aren’t able to travel to the national team.
“I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to the game with South Africa. I know they have a strong team, some of the guys I played with in 2017 at the U-20 AFCON. I was really looking forward to it, you know,” he explained.
The duo is oozing confidence having started the Austrian Bundesliga on a high after winning all four of their opening games including qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stages last week after beating Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final qualifying round.
Daka has scored five league goals in four Austrian Bundesliga games including a brace this past weekend as Salzburg thrashed Hartberg 7-1 in the league. Mwepu has also featured in all four games for the Austrian Champions playing as the anchor in midfield.
Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba will also be disappointed with the fact that attacker Seikou Koita will not be able to join the national team as he is also part of the Salzburg squad. Koita has started the 2020/21 season on a high for Salzburg having scored four goals and assisting a further strike in the league this season.
All the countries affected by this Salzburg situation will be hoping that things get back to normal next month when AFCON qualifiers resume with two important games that can decide who goes to the continental showpiece in Cameroon.
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By Prince Sobayeni