Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova decries Afcon suspension

If selected for the tournament, the Polokwane City goalkeeper will miss Zimbabwe’s opening game at the Afcon finals.

Polokwane City goalkeeper George Chigova says it will be “painful” to miss Zimbabwe’s opening game at Afcon 2019 due to suspension.

Chigova picked up his second yellow card in the final qualifier against Congo Brazzaville in Harare.

According to Caf, this rules him out of Zimbabwe’s first game at the finals in Egypt if the player is registered for the tournament.

“We would like to confirm the disciplinary measures taken against player(s) of your team at the above-mentioned match. We remind you that the referee report is authoritative regarding incidents that occurred on the field of play," Caf wrote to Zifa in a letter published in The Herald.

"The referee of the above-mentioned match has reported to the Disciplinary Board that the following players were cautioned: Tendayi David Darikwa, Philana Tinotenda Kadewere and George Chigova. For having received two cautions in two different matches in the frame of this competition (matches #139 and #67), player no. 16 George Chigova is automatically suspended for his next match.

“Seeing as your team was qualified for the final tournament of the 32nd Edition of Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019, player no. 16 George Chigova will be suspended for Zimbabwe’s first match in the frame of the Afcon 2019 group matches.”

At the 2017 Afcon tournament in Gabon, Club Brugge and Zimbabwe midfielder Marvelous Nakamba was suspended for the first match after accumulating two yellow cards in the qualifiers.

Chigova spoke about his suspension expressing hurt at being ruled out of the opening game.

He was Zimbabwe’s number one goalkeeper during the qualifiers.

“The referee’s decision is final, but that guy from Congo kicked me and I felt I needed medical attention. But now it’s painful, I am going to miss the game. This is supposed to be my first Afcon finals and I was looking forward to be playing the first game, but such this things happen in football,” Chigova told The Herald.

Zimbabwe will know their Afcon group stage opponents after the draw is conducted in Egypt on Friday.

The Warriors will be making their fourth Afcon appearance.