Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ENGLAND-based forward Macauley Bonne’s dream of playing at this year’s AFCON finals has been shattered as he will not be able to join the Warriors in Egypt.
The Leyton Orient star has been struggling to obtain a Zimbabwean passport to enable him to feature for the Warriors.
ZIFA yesterday indicated he had failed to meet the CAF deadline for the submission of the final 23-member team lists for the tournament that closes today.
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa had left the door open for the 23-year old forward, but was forced to exclude him.
“The CAF deadline for the participating teams to send their squads is tomorrow (today). We have been following closely the processes (Bonne’s passport application),’’ said ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.
“We know he submitted his papers to the relevant authorities in accordance with the standard procedures.
“We are also aware of the challenges and necessary engagements have taken place, but some of the things are beyond us.
“It’s unfortunate we haven’t received any news on the issue, and because of the time, the coach has since announced his team and the guys are now in Egypt, getting ready for the AFCON tournament.’’
Bonne had a brilliant run with Orient in the last two campaigns and helped them gain promotion into the EFL League Two with more than 20 goals in back-to-back seasons.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare said it was disappointing the forward will not be in Egypt.
The Warriors are hoping to play a final international friendly against Tanzania on Sunday and another low-key practice match with Nigeria, whom they held to a goalless draw at the weekend.
“We travelled safely. We can only move into the official hotel five days before the start of the tournament, which is around the 16th-17th June,’’ said Mpandare.
“At the moment we are staying at a guest house called Engineering Authority Guest House in Cairo. It’s a nice place.’’