Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
THE Zimbabwe Under-17 boys’ team ventures into battle this afternoon when they take on 2018 champions Angola in the opening match of the Cosafa Championship in South Africa hoping to repeat the 2007 feat in which they were crowned the regional champions.
Coach Tafadzwa Mashiri and his lieutenants Agent Sawu, John Nyikadzino and Mike Madzivanyika, travelled with 18 players from the provisional 36 that was called into camp.
Six of the boys fell by the wayside after the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan results showed that they are overaged.
One of the dropped players, Claivert Tshuma’s parents disputed the outcome of the results and insisted that their son was born on January 21, 2004 at Victoria Falls hospital, making him eligible for the Under-17 squad.
Tshuma’s mother, Sylivia Maphosa yesterday went to Victoria Falls hospital, in the company of former Zifa Southern Region chairman Morgen Gazza Dube, to retrieve the boy’s birth records because the other copies are at Prince Edward High School where Tshuma is a pupil.
“The records I saw clearly state that the youngman was born on January 21, 2004 which makes him a legitimate Under-17 youngster. I am therefore not sure how the machine came up with such an outcome,” said Dube.
The Cosafa tournament also serves as the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Finalists at the tournament will represent Cosafa at the Afcon finals.
Eight teams were pooled into two groups of four teams each are participating with the Young Warriors in Group A alongside hosts South Africa, Eswatini, and Angola. Defending champions Zambia, Comoros, Botswana and Malawi are in Group B.
After today’s clash, the Young Warriors will have two days’ rest before taking on hosts and two times champions South Africa before rounding up their Group A fixtures against Eswatini on November 24.
Zimbabwe Cosafa Contingent
Goalkeepers: Blessed Sibanda (FC Platinum), Joseph Kaunda (Hwange Academy)
Defenders: Dylan Gumbe (Twenty 63 Academy),Nigel Musamba (Majesa Academy), Alfa Chiwashira (Friendly Academy), Carlos Prosperity Gwaze (PE Academy), Bekezela Mpofu (Real Stars Academy)
Midfielders: Stephen Chatikobo (PE Academy), Enasio Perezo (Pamushana High School), Keith Muzengeza (Visionaries), Hermish Charlie (Legends Academy), Tapiwa Chakuchichi (BN Academy), Alvin Dube (Twenty 63 Academy), Kudzwayiishe Chikumba (Friendly Academy), Talent Mwenga (Twenty 63 Academy)
Strikers: Denzel Chikwanda (Twenty 63 Academy), Luther Munakandafa (Chiredzi Academy), Luke Musikiri (PE Academy)
Head Coach – Tafadzwa Mashiri
Assistants – Agent Sawu, Michael Madzivanyika, John Nyikadzino
Goalkeepers’ Coach – Chenjerai Dube
Medical Doctor – Dr Rabson Zhou
Physiotherapist – Same Chaurura