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Loga locks out locals

Don Makanyanga Sports Reporter WARRIORS coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic has temporarily shut the door on players plying their trade in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League for the upcoming back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria due to the prolonged inactivity of domestic football. The Warriors — who are second behind the Desert Foxes […]

Don Makanyanga Sports Reporter

WARRIORS coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic has temporarily shut the door on players plying their trade in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League for the upcoming back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria due to the prolonged inactivity of domestic football.

The Warriors — who are second behind the Desert Foxes — are likely to face the North Africans between November 9 to 17, according to the revised fixture programme released by the Confederation of African Football last week.

Loga is in his native Croatia and is expected back in the country next month.

Yesterday, the 54-year-old coach, whose schedule has been affected by Covid-19, told The Sunday Mail Sport from Croatia that he would have no choice, but to overlook local players for selection when the Warriors reassemble.

Ironically, Loga’s first glimpse of Zimbabwean football from up close had been with the locals with whom he had in camp for two weeks ahead of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) tournament which had been scheduled for Cameroon from April 4-25.

That was before Covid-19 struck and threw into turmoil all global sport, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Zimbabwe’s Premiership season had not yet started when Covid-19 lockdowns were introduced and to date the domestic game remains in limbo with even its leadership unsure of when football may return.

It is against this background that Loga said he would now have to be forced to consider those players whose leagues are in action such as South Africa and Europe.

“It will be impossible to select players from the Zimbabwean league,” Loga said.

“Local players have not had proper training for close to six months, so for the November AFCON qualifier matches, we must focus on players that are in Europe, South Africa and other countries that have already resumed their football”.

The Croat believes the only logical solution is to stick with active players, while awaiting the resumption of the local league.

ZIFA had initially hinted on the 2020 season getting underway in September, but that now is in doubt given that clubs would need at least six weeks to prepare.

The local scenario has seen some truant players resorting to unofficial money games played mostly at uncertified grounds in high-density suburbs.

“We need players that have proper match…

The Sunday Mail

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