Albert Marufu in LONDON, England
HAMBURGER SV Under-19 captain, Jonah Fabisch, has been ruled out of Zimbabwe’s 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia next month.
Fabisch is part of a generation of players raised in Europe, with Zimbabwean roots, who have been included in coach Joey Antipas’ 32-member squad.
He is the son of the late former Warriors coach, Reinhard, and qualifies to play for Zimbabwe through his mother, Chawada Kachidza-Fabisch.
He also has a Zimbabwean passport.
In a letter to ZIFA, his mother said although her son was keen to play for Zimbabwe, he has commitments with his club in the weeks the Warriors are scheduled to take on Botswana and Zambia.
“He is honoured that the coach is willing to give him a chance to represent his country,’’ Chawada wrote.
“He is also very keen to do so. But, at this point in time, it is crucial that he is available to showcase his talent here in Hamburg in order for him to establish his position in the senior department.
“It is likely he will train and play with the first team in the week of the upcoming matches, so we need him to be available here.
“Once we have established what role he will play at senior level, then he will be at liberty to travel and join the Warriors in the battle for glory.
“So, we ask for a little patience and when the time is right, he will be ready for the call of duty.’’
Chawada told The Herald her family was thrilled by Jonah’s national team call-up and will be among the spectators when her son makes his debut.
“I was absolutely delighted to hear of Jonah’s nomination for the national team. He just recently turned 18-years-old, it is an honour for a young player to be recognised in such high regard.
“From day one, I have been Jonah’s biggest fan and that’s why I am present at every single home game.
“When he plays away, I try to attend some of those matches, too. I even flew all the way to Abu Dhabi to watch him play a tournament with his HSV Under-15 team under the leadership of coach Pit Reimers.
“So, you can be certain that when he does eventually make his debut with the Warriors, I will be among the crowd cheering him on and beaming with pride saying “mwana wangu iyeye”, she said.
Asked why her son withdrew from the Under-23 AFCON tie against South Africa in August, she said “due to some administrative obstacles he was unable to attend.”
Jonah said it was an honour to be named among the Warriors.
“It is an honour to be able to continue my father’s legacy. I do try to keep up to date with the (Zimbabwean) team’s progress and, whenever I get a chance, I watch matches online,’’ he said.
“I know that my technical and tactical proficiency, my calmness on the ball while under pressure and my ability to quickly change the pace of the ball will be an asset when I play.
“Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to meet any of the present players, but I do follow (Knowledge) Musona, (Willard) Katsande and (Marvelous) Nakamba on Instagram.
“I did, however meet the late Edzai Kasinauyo and I had a lot of respect for him. I have also read Bruce Grobbelaar’s autobiography, “Life In A Jungle” and I like that he mentioned my dad in one of the chapters.’’