Versatile defender Devine Lunga has been introduced into the lineup, while six British-born players, initially part of the provisional squad, have been dropped.
The dropped players include Brentford’s Marley Tavaziva, Liverpool’s Isaac Mabaya, Leon Chiwome of Wolves, and Leicester’s Tawanda Maswanhise.
Despite being named in the provisional squad for potential Warriors debuts, they were left out of the final team set to face Rwanda tomorrow at the Huye Stadium in Butare.
Following the Rwanda match, the Warriors will host Nigeria at the same venue four days later.
Zimbabwe is compelled to play its home match against Nigeria in Rwanda due to the absence of a CAF-certified stadium in the country.
Tendayi Darikwa of Apolon Limassol and Brendon Galloway of Plymouth Argyle withdrew from the squad due to injuries.
While Zifa did not provide specific reasons for the squad changes, it is reported that the football governing body encountered challenges processing Zimbabwean passports for the UK-born players.
Galloway and Darikwa, having represented the Warriors before, already possess valid documents.
Liverpool’s Mabaya is reported to be injured, but there are suggestions that he lacked interest in joining the national team when contacted.
Surprisingly, Mamelodi Sundowns’ left-back Devine Lunga, who last played for the national team at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, was included in the revised squad.
Although he has not featured in competitive matches for the Brazilians this season, Lunga’s call-up comes as a surprise.
The upcoming Group C matches against Rwanda and Nigeria are crucial, with other group members including South Africa, Benin, and Lesotho.
The team finishing at the top of the group will secure direct qualification to the 2026 World Cup in America.
While Europe-based stars like Marshall Munetsi and Marvelous Nakamba, along with US-based Teenage Hadebe, were expected to arrive in Kigali, the local-based contingent, including Tanaka Shandirwa, Frank Makarati, Donovan Bernard, Walter Musona, Obriel Chirinda, Peter Muduhwa, Andrew Mbeba, Brian Banda, and Saudi Arabia-based Gerald Takwara, arrived on Saturday.
Tanzania-based striker Prince Dube joined the squad on Sunday.
2026 FIFA World Cup: Warriors squad
Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Washington Arubi (SuperSport United, SA), Martin Mapisa (FC Malaga City, SPN)
Defenders: Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Frank Makarati (Dynamos), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo, USA), Munashe Garan’anga (Sheriff Tiraspol, MOL), Jordan Zemura (Udinese, SPN), Tivonge Rushesha (Reading, ENG), Divine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns, SA)
Midfielders: Brian Banda (FC Platinum), Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims, FRA), Andy Rinomhota (Cardiff City, ENG), Marvelous Nakamba (Luton Town, ENG), Gerald Takwara (Ohod, SAUDI), Tanaka Shandirwa (Dynamos)
Forwards: Obriel Chirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs), Prince Dube (Azam, TANZ), Tino Kadewere (Lyon, FRA), Admiral Muskwe (Exeter City, ENG), Walter Musona (FC Platinum), Terrence Dzvukamanja (SuperSport United, SA).