Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS foreign-based stars will not be able to come back home this year for the traditional off-season holidays.
The majority, who are based in South Africa, learnt their fate on Friday following the announcement by the Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza that the 2021/22 season will get underway on October 9.
That would be barely a month after the conclusion of the current campaign.
The compressed league programme, which had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, is expected to end early next month.
Then, there will be the promotion/relegation play-offs taking place towards the end of the month.
This will mean that the teams will have just one month to prepare for the new campaign.
And, with the travel restrictions currently in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the players will be holed up at their bases continuously into the new season.
The CAF guidelines for the resumption of the games will also not make it possible for the teams to break camp.
The health regulations require citizens coming back home to go into a 14-day quarantine.
It is also difficult to go back to South Africa, if one is not a citizen, as has been the case of Bloemfontein Celtics’ Ronald Pfumbidzai.
The roving leftback has been holed up in Zimbabwe for the past few months.
South Africa is one of the worst-hit countries in the world.
The majority of Zimbabwe’s former and current national team players are based in South Africa.
The Absa Premiership resumed at the weekend with Zimbabweans Terrence Dzvukamanja and goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze in action during the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup.
Both players, however, suffered heartbreaks in their matches as Chipezeze’s Baroka went down to Bloemfontein Celtics.
Dzvukamanja was on target twice for Wits but his brace was in vain after his side lost 3-2 to Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Absa Premiership league campaign is on tomorrow as Sundowns host Orlando Pirates at Dobsonville Stadium.
The following day, Willard Katsande and Khama Billiat’s Kaizer Chiefs will welcome Wits back to Orlando Stadium.
Chiefs lead the championship race with a four-point advantage over second-placed Sundowns, who have a game in hand, though.
The return of the football was widely welcomed by the Zimbabwean footballers in South Africa, who were beginning to feel the pinch of the financial effects of inactivity.
There has been no Supa Diski football since mid-March when the campaign was postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe’s Europe-based stars like Marvelous Nakamba, Teenage Hadebe, and skipper Knowledge Musona are also set to continue playing without having the privilege to come back home and enjoy the off-season holidays.