Warriors off to Blantyre by road

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Zimbabwe’s national team left for Malawi by road on Friday morning with indications that there are no flights between the two countries.

The trip to Blantyre from Harare is a 10-hour drive, barring the border processes that could easily stretch it by a further hour or two.

Warriors talisman, Khama Billiat, could become the latest key player to miss the international friendly match against the Flames in Blantyre on Sunday.

Billiat couldn’t fly straight into Harare as he had to wait for Covid-19 test results before making the trip. “Khama has been trying to secure a flight straight from Johannesburg to Malawi and got a seat on one, which will take him to Lilongwe,’’ a source said.

“He has been trying to find the best way he can travel from Lilongwe to Blantyre, even if it means hiring a car, for someone to take him where the game will be played.”

ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said they had no option but to take the road trip after they failed to secure flights to Malawi. “We had wanted the best for our team but the only option available, at this juncture, was to go by road,’’ said Gwesela. “There are no flights to Malawi. It’s difficult travelling because of the Covid-19 restrictions.”

Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic named a weaker 18-member squad on Thursday, including nine home-based players, after failing to secure the services of the majority of his foreign-based stars, including skipper Knowledge Musona.

Logarusic had wanted to travel with his best foreign-based players for this match to prepare for next month’s back-to-back AFCON qualifiers against Algeria.

Marshall Munetsi’s French club, Stade Reims, wrote to ZIFA telling them he would not be released because their request came late.

RELATED STORY: Warriors foreign-based quartet ruled out of Flames tie

By Mthokozisi Dube

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