Zimbabwe national team manager Wellington Mpandare says they will not “be that desperate as to force ourselves on an individual” after English-based Macauley Bonne turned down his latest call-up to the Warriors.
The 26-year-old, who is on the books of Ipswich Town on loan from Queens Park Rangers, has played in two friendly games for Zimbabwe in the past but has yet to feature in a competitive match.
He was recently named in the Warriors’ squad for their impending 2022 World Cup Qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia, but Ipswich wrote to the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) on Friday to inform them that Bonne will not be making the trip on health grounds.
Bonne has been in excellent form for Ipswich this season, netting 11 goals in 15 appearances in League One.
Mpandare, however, says Zimbabwe cannot dwell on Bonne’s absence insisting that there are plenty of other prospects at home and abroad to focus their energy on instead.
He told The Herald that if Bonne cannot climatic conditions prevalent in Africa, it, therefore, means that he cannot play for Zimbabwe. He added:
So, we take his word. The last time he had a heart complication and this time he has indicated that he has a health condition that is not friendly to high temperatures.
This can be interpreted in many ways. It may also mean that he cannot play for Zimbabwe because we always play our games in these conditions in Africa, not in Europe.
So, we cannot be that desperate as to force ourselves on an individual when we have a huge database of players, including over 60 prospective talented players, in the UK alone.
Zimbabwe will play South Africa in Soweto on Thursday 11 November, before wrapping up their group phase campaign with a home game against Ethiopia in Harare on Sunday 14 November.
More: The Herald