More trouble in Warriors camp
WARRIORS manager Wellington Mpandare has rubbished social media reports that star midfielder Denver Mukamba was being overlooked after clashing with head coach Zdravko Logarusic over team selection and
Social media hawks claim that Mukamba did not feature in the two opening matches at the ongoing African Nations Championship (Chan) against Cameroon and Burkina Faso as a sanction from Logarusic after the Ngezi Platinum Stars midfielder criticised the coach’s team selection and tactics.
The star midfielder earned his place in the Warriors Chan squad after impressing the technical bench during a preparatory match against Ngezi Platinum Stars last month. Mukamba was tipped for success at the sixth edition of the Chan tournament with many football fans pinning their hopes on him.
However, this did not come to pass as he was only used as a second half substitute in the 1-0 defeat against Cameroon. Reports from Cameroon are that Logarusic was not amused with Mukamba’s behaviour. It is alleged that the player criticised tactics implemented by Logarusic in the 1-0 defeat to hosts Cameroon in the opening match of the tournament.
He was therefore side-lined in the must win encounter against Burkina Faso that ended in a 3-1 defeat and subsequently ending the team’s hopes of remaining in the tournament. It is further alleged that it was just a casual talk between Mukamba and his fellow Ngezi Platinum Stars teammate Wellington Taderera but the duo was sold out by a member of the squad who heard the conversation.
Mpandare, however, sought to set the record straight saying that social media bloggers have grown a penchant for disseminating false information to set up agendas.
“People always speculate you know (how it is with) Zimbabwe social media, there is no issue, in fact Denver missed the game on health grounds but now he is back.” Mpandare said.
Once a bad boy, Mukamba has found a new lease of life under Rodwell Dhlakama who signed him up at Chapungu two years ago. During his second tenure at Dynamos the midfielder was criticised over a recurrent bad behaviour of skipping training sessions that led to a fallout with then Glamour Boys coach Lloyd Mutasa.
Dhlakama then left Ngezi Platinum Stars taking Mukamba along and since then the gifted midfielder has shed off the bad boy tag. The patient gaffer who is credited for resurrecting Mukamba’s career jumped to the player’s defence.
“I don’t know why they are doing this to Denver, are they not judging him based on his history? Secondly, is there any leader even in companies who does not face criticism from the people surrounding him, some are even given nicknames but life goes on,” Dhlakama told the Daily News on Sunday.
“Lastly you can’t judge the issue based on grapevine what if he is being framed for sins that he did not even commit. Anywhere l wish them the best in their final game on Sunday (today).”
Meanwhile, the Warriors play their final match of the Chan campaign against Mali at 9pm local time. The game is of academic interest for the Zimbabweans but will be eager to exit the tournament on a winning note. Mali are out to seal their qualification to the next stage of the tournament. A win or draw for Mali will see them through regardless of what happens in the other game pitting Cameron against Burkina Faso.