All set for Zimbabwe’s decisive 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has assured coach Baltemar Brito that all the necessary paperwork for players called up for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers is in order.

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has assured coach Baltemar Brito that all the necessary paperwork for players called up for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers is in order.

ZIFA Normalisation Committee chairman Lincoln Mutasa expressed confidence that they won’t face challenges in securing Europe-based players who will represent Zimbabwe in these crucial World Cup qualifying matches.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to face Rwanda and Nigeria on November 15 and 19, and coach Baltemar Brito has expanded his player pool to include some individuals with little connection to their motherland, as they were either born or raised in the diaspora.

This includes players who may not have had Zimbabwean passports and some who identify with the nationalities of their adopted countries.

However, ZIFA boss Lincoln Mutasa confirmed that all the necessary paperwork is being processed for these players, assuring that everything will be completed before the World Cup qualifiers commence.

“The papers are being processed,” Mutasa said, emphasizing the association’s dedication to ensuring that the players can compete for Zimbabwe.

The foreign-based players of the Warriors national team will travel directly to Rwanda, where they will establish their base for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Brito and his coaching staff will join the squad on November 13, along with a group of locally based players.

The decision to fly foreign-based players directly to Rwanda was made due to the logistical challenges of playing two matches within four days.

Zimbabwe senior men football team coach Baltemar Brito barks instruction on the touchline during a training session recently.
FILE: Zimbabwe senior men football team coach Baltemar Brito barks instruction on the touchline during a training session recently.

Mutasa explained, “Because of the time limitations and to cut on the logistical challenges, the players will fly to Rwanda at the earliest possible opportunity. They will train in Rwanda ahead of the matches.

“The FIFA window opens on November 13. So, we expect the players to be with their clubs up to the 12th, and then they report for duty the next day. But those with late matches may come a bit late.”

The Warriors, who are in Group C, will kick off their World Cup campaign with an away match against Rwanda on November 15 at Huye Stadium in Butare.

Four days later, they will host Nigeria’s Super Eagles at the same venue in their first home match of the campaign.

ZIFA’s proactive approach to ensure that all players’ paperwork is in order and the logistical plans for their matches reflect their commitment to a successful World Cup qualifying campaign.

2026 FIFA World Cup Q: Zimbabwe provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Washington Arubi (SuperSport United), Martin Mapisa (FC Malaga City), Marley Tavaziva (Brentford).

Defenders: Tendayi Darikwa (Apollon Limassol), Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Frank Makarati (Dynamos), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Munashe Garan’anga (Sheriff Tiraspol), Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Jordan Zemura (Udinese), Tivonge Rushesha (Reading).

Midfielders: Brian Banda (FC Platinum), Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Andy Rinomhota (Cardiff City), Marvelous Nakamba (Luton Town), Gerald Takwara (Ohod), Isaac Mabaya (Liverpool), Tanaka Shandirwa (Dynamos).

Forwards: Obriel Chirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs), Prince Dube (Azam), Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon), Admiral Muskwe (Exeter City), Walter Musona (FC Platinum), Terrence Dzvukamanja (SuperSport United), Leon Chiwome (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tawanda Maswanhise (Leicester City).

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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