Takudzwa Chitsiga, Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Rugby sevens team, the Cheetahs, are racing against time to acquire visas for the Sevens Challenger Series tournaments in Chile in a week’s time.
The Cheetahs will be part of 16 teams scheduled to take part in the tournament.
The management of the Cheetahs are finding it difficult to get visas for the travelling delegation.
Applications have to be submitted in South Africa with each individual expected to come in person.
Gilbert Nyamutsamba, the team’s head coach, bemoaned the technical challenges but believes everything will be in place before their departure on Monday.
The Sevens Challenger Series will be played from February 14-16 and Zimbabwe are in Group D with hosts Chile, Brazil and Mexico.
Uruguay will be joined by Japan, Portugal and Tonga in Pool A, while Hong Kong, Colombia, Jamaica and Papua New Guinea make up Pool B with Germany, Italy, Paraguay and Uganda completing the Pool C line-up.
“We are running around and everything is going on well but the challenge is on our travelling arrangements as we need to secure visas in time,” said Nyamutsamba.
”We need to prepare knowing who is eligible but there is a challenge.
“The visa requirements are a bit challenging as there is no Chilean Embassy here so people should travel to Pretoria personally to acquire the visas.
”It is quite a challenge but I believe we will come out with a good team for the tournament.
”Our aim is to be in camp by Friday so that we can assess all the potential players available.”
The Cheetahs will be without seasoned players like Poland-based Martin Mangongo, Tapiwa Tsomonda and Ryan O’Neil, Australia-based Connor Pritchard Blithe Mavesere, Godfrey Muzanarwo and Takudzwa Chitokwindo.
The duo of Mavesere and Muzanarwo are trying to establish themselves at their new club in South Africa.