Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
THE Warriors technical team said they were caught by surprise after Zimbabwe international Costa Nhamoinesu announced his retirement from the national team which is set to participate at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
The 33-year old defender, who is currently on the books of Czech Republic side Sparta Prague, communicated his decision on his Twitter account on Wednesday evening.
However, team manager Wellington Mpandare yesterday said they have begun engagements with the player to confirm the authenticity of the message.
Nhamoinesu, who has had nine national team caps, was an integral member of the Zimbabwe national team during the last Africa Cup of Nations campaign in 2017.
“It really came as a shock, we had not expected it as all the focus now is on the Afcon finals where we need all our best players available,” said Mpandare.
”But we have to get confirmation from him since his message came via Twitter.
“In this age of social media you can’t just take everything at face value because many people have woken up to say it’s not my account.
”So we have begun the official communication processes with him.
“But if he really means it, we cannot force him to rescind his decision. We have to thank him for the contributions he made in the national team.”
Mpandare yesterday said the door has always been open for the defender.
“The door was never closed on him. If anything, he is one of the many players that we have been tracking,” said Mpandare.
”As long as he was playing for his club and doing well he had an equal chance of making the team, just like anyone else.
“Probably, Costa should have consulted with the national team technical bench before making such a huge announcement.
“He could have been misled that he was not in the team and he decided to act that way. The timing of his announcement makes everything suspicious.
“He is definitely one of the several players the coach has been looking at for Afcon. We have been in constant communication with him since the last time that he came for the Cosafa and had to return because of injury.
“It was a genuine injury. We actually received a letter to that effect from his club and the next assignment we called him again but he couldn’t come because of injury.”