ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka
ZANACO coach Mumamba Numba has described the absence of four foreign players as a setback ahead of Saturdayâ€™s CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg against Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR).
Congolese defender Kitumbi Didi, Zimbabwean Zemisileni Moyo, Reuben Lyanga of Tanzania and Congolese striker Souleyman Lokwa have not been registered for Africaâ€™s premier club competition because their former employers sent their International Transfer Certificates (ITCs) late.
Numba said in an interview after a morning training session at Miller Ground in Lusaka yesterday that he is disappointed that the quartet will not don Zanaco colours.
â€œAll the foreign players that we bought are ineligible to play for us [Zanaco] in the first round of the competition. Their International Transfer Certificates delayed to come, this is why they are not part of the squad,â€ he said.
Zanacoâ€™s last appearance in the Champions League was in 2013 when they reached the first round losing 3-1 on aggregate to South African side Orlando Pirates.
Numba also said diminutive midfielder Charles Zulu has been ruled out of the match due to a knee injury.
Zulu, who is on clutches, sustained the injury while attending trials at Swiss side FC Luzern.
Numba said Zulu will be out for a month.
He, however, said he has enough ammunition at his disposal to do battle with APR.
â€œWe respect our opponents [APR]. They are seasoned campaigners in the CAF Champions League. They feed their national team with players but we are ready for them. We want to finish off the game here [Lusaka]. Boyd Musonda and Mangani Banda, who are with the under-20 national team in Spain, will join the team on Saturday,â€ Numba said.
Meanwhile APR coach Jimmy Mulisa has declared his team ready for Zanaco.
Mulisa told the New Times yesterday that he is happy with his teamâ€™s 1-1 draw with Democratic Republic of Congo side Virunga in a friendly on Sunday.
APR are expected in Lusaka tomorrow.
ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka