By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIAN midfield genius Enock “Computer” Mwepu could still make it for the crucial back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana after Red Bull Salzburg U-turned and announced that all players were Covid-19 negative following a third series of tests conducted on Monday.
After having rejected all international call-ups because six players had tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, Salzburg have u-turned on the statement made earlier after all players tested negative to the third Covid-19 tests in four days.
Red Bull Salzburg chief Commercial officer Stephan Reiter said the club would do everything possible to end the restrictions imposed on the team after the second series of tests conducted on Sunday where six players were said to have been positive before being isolated.
“We will do everything we possibly can to end the current restrictions (isolation measures and team quarantine) to allow all our international players to report for duty. We hope that the travel ban imposed on them by the authorities can be lifted as soon as possible,” Reiter said.
“We also want to find out why the last two sets of Covid-19 tests, which were conducted by the same lab in Salzburg, produced such different results.
“We have to find answers to this as it makes a mockery of the comprehensive and professional efforts of FC Red Bull Salzburg to stick to all the required virus-prevention measures.”Mwepu had even given up on making it for the crucial AFCON qualifier against the Zebra’s of Botswana.
“It’s sad that I can’t represent Zambia in the back to back Afcon Qualifiers against Botswana due to Covid-19 restrictions but I believe in every difficulty there’s opportunity. Time for the new lads in the squad to step up,” said the former Kafue Celtics and Napsa Stars player.
However after the new twist, Mwepu would make it for the Botswana tie if the travel ban imposed on Red Bull players by the authorities in Austria can be lifted.
Meanwhile, KV Oostende striker Fashion Sakala and Russia-based Klings Kangwa have joined camped ahead of tomorrow’s game against Botswana. The duo join Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga, Sebastian Mwange, Tandi Mwape, Gamphani Lungu and Lubambo Musonda who completes the list of foreign stars called by Milutin Sredojevic.
Zambia host the Zebras tomorrow before travelling to Botswana for the return leg fixture slated for November 16 at Francis Town Sports Complex.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA