Club vs Country: ‘Sundowns Manager Blocks Billiat’

Harare - It is a story that crops up every time international matches come into play. 

And now, Mamelodi Sundowns are allegedly blocking Zimbabwe forward Khama Billiat from travelling to Harare for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football qualifier against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

So intense is the tussle, that Zifa President Philip Chiyangwa has threatened to report Sundowns to Fifa for refusing to release the player for national duty. Fifa statutes compel clubs to release players for national duty five days prior to the match.
Khama Billiat

Billiat, one of the Warriors’ key players had been included in the squad to face Liberia. Although he was injured and sidelined for Mamelodi Sundown’s clash against Esperance of Tunisia in the Caf Champions League on Friday night, he revealed he was hopeful of shaking off the injury and play a part on Sunday.

Initially, the Brazilians had said they would release the player for national duty and the Warriors medical team had also requested Billiat to bring a medical report so that they could assess him.

However, Mamelodi Sundowns had a sudden change of heart and it has emerged that it is the former Warriors celebrated skipper, Ndlovu, who was blocking the winger from travelling to Harare to join up with the rest of the squad in camp.

Warriors team manager, Wellington Mupandare yesterday claimed that Ndlovu was the one blocking Billiat, and had cut communication channels with the Warriors technical team. Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa also tried to contact Ndlovu without success.

Billiat is one of the two players, together with Onismor Bhasera, yet to join camp. Bhasera, who had club commitments at the weekend, is expected to join tomorrow. The duo of Dennis Dauda and goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda has been ruled out of the match due to injuries. - NewsDay

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