The Sunday Mail
THE Zimbabwe Football Association’s failure to avail a paltry $90 that is required for an urgent knee scan on Mighty Warriors striker Rudo Neshamba has left the potent goal scorer stranded and in danger of missing the Olympics.
The 24-year-old striker is being troubled by a nagging injury that has sidelined her from today’s African Women’s Cup of Nations final round second leg qualifier against Zambia in Lusaka.
Neshamba watched from the terraces as the Mighty Warriors beat Shepolopolo 1-0 in the first leg at Rufaro last Wednesday, a result that left Zimbabwe on the brink of a fourth appearance at the AFWCON finals.
And as her teammates prepare to finish off Zambia away in Lusaka, the striker will be praying that Zifa doesn’t forget about her situation.
A member of the Mighty Warriors technical team disclosed that a request for a scan was handed over to the football association’s offices two weeks ago but to date, Neshamba is yet to get it done.
“A requisition for an ultra scan for the girl’s knee has been done and we are now waiting for the results,” said the official.
“There is need to carry out investigations to find out the extent of the problem. That scan is important because we might find out she doesn’t need an operation after all.
“Right now, we do not know whether it is an inflammation, fracture, tendon tear or something else.”
This publication also learnt from sources that a frustrated Neshamba has resorted to financing her own treatment.
It was also discovered that Zifa have also failed to reimburse members of the technical team the $250 they used to pay for a CT scan done on Neshamba late last year after the striker complained of a severe headache while in camp.
The star striker could not be reached for comment on Friday but in an earlier interview, she expressed her dejection.
“It would be painful if I were to miss out on the Olympic Games, our first ever appearance as a country.
“I pray that the scan and the knee operation, if done, will be conducted early, so that I won’t miss the games,” said a distraught Neshamba.
Zifa spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela requested for more time “to gather more details about the issue from my bosses.”
That was the last we heard from him.
The dreadlocked Neshamba was below par in the two legs of the AFWCON first round qualifiers against Tanzania, thereby forcing coach Shadreck Mlauzi to rest her.
Although Mlauzi is confident the Mighty Warriors can book their place at the AFWCON finals without Neshamba, he is however worried about the possibility of missing his top striker at the Olympic Games.
“Neshamba’s injury is chronic, if you may want to say. We want her to undergo treatment but there has been no progress.
“We are stranded and that is why we need to lobby for her to go for the operation,” said Mlauzi.
According to physiotherapists, most knee operations usually require between six to nine months to heal.