Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic could find himself in a fix if FIFA extend the bombshell they dropped on Monday pertaining the release of international-based players by their clubs.
The international football mother body on Monday relaxed rules, on the release of players, ahead of the August 31 to September 8 international window.
The window is only open to European national teams.
Usually, FIFA order clubs to release players, to represent their national teams, during stipulated international windows.
But, the world football governing body have relaxed that condition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Zimbabwe Warriors are scheduled to play Algeria’s Desert Foxes in back-to-back 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
The finals have been moved by a further year to January 2022 in Cameroon.
But, if FIFA decide to extend the relaxation of the rules to the November international window, Logarusic will certainly be doomed on his first test as Warriors coach.
“Many national governments have again implemented travel and immigration restrictions due to a renewed increase in Covid-19 infections,’’ FIFA said.
“Some of these measures directly impact international competition, such as mandatory periods of quarantine or self-isolation and travel restrictions.’’
FIFA further explained that clubs will not be obliged to release their players if there is a mandatory quarantine in the country the club is based, or where there are travel restrictions, in place.
If FIFA decide to uphold this position until November, then Logarusic, who this week said he will be looking at selecting only players plying their trade outside the country for the Algeria back-to-back fixtures, will be in a tight spot. It means he could struggle to even raise a team for the matches against Algeria.
The domestic football campaign has been on hold since it ended last year.
ZIFA medical committee chairperson, Edward Chagonda, yesterday told The Herald that if nothing changes, every visitor to this country, including footballers, will be put in an eight-day quarantine before being allowed to mingle with the generality of the population.
“Quarantine is part of the national health guidelines designed to minimise the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and, as long as the guidelines remain in place, that’s what we will have to do,” said Chagonda.
“If the guidelines remain in place, the players who will be called for national duty in November will, just like everyone else, be put into an eight-day quarantine.
“However, things are starting to show positive promises. There has been some marked recoveries.
“Even more positively, no athlete to date has tested positive. Maybe, that is attributable to the changing environment, with the hot season upon us, but there are bright prospects that, at the end of the day, if things keep on changing, maybe by November, a lot would have changed.
“But, as it stands, we are still quarantining returnees so the players could as well be put into a mandatory eight-day quarantine before they can mix with others.
“There could be a chance for special exemption, though, but that is the position at the moment.”
Lyon forward, Tino Kadewere, was given special exemption and allowed to attend the burial of his late brother, Prince, after arriving from his base in France.
The domestic league is still to commence and Logarusic has since indicated that he will not include home-based players for the matches against Algeria.
“I will be looking at those based in Europe, and South Africa, for selection as they are the ones in shape for the matches since their leagues have resumed and will also be commencing in September,” said Logarusic.
Algeria top the group with six points, after two rounds of matches, with Zimbabwe second on four points.
Botswana, with a single point, are third in a pool anchored by Zambia’s Chipolopolo, who are yet to collect a point.