Big Bullets have said they are worried with the lack of depth in their squad in the in the 19th edition of the CAF Champions League campaign.
Initially, Bullets registered 26 players and hoped to register four more in the grace period, but they now only have 23 players out of an anticipated 30 to see them through the qualifying stages. Three of the players in the initial squad are not available due to various reasons while the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rejected the club’s request for late registration of four players.
Bullets general secretary Harold Fote said they were expected to meet FAM yesterday over the issue.
“We have quality players, but the problem is the deficit of players in the squad. We require back-up for some positions, especially upfront where we are handicapped and when the going gets tough, we could be exposed,” said Fote.
The three players that were in the initial squad, but are currently unavailable are defender Douglas Chirambo and strikers Jimmy Zakazaka and Frazer Menyani who have since left the club whereas Chirambo is ill and not expected back anytime soon.
Bullets’ late registration request for Owen Chaima, Chiukepo Msowoya, Harvey Nkacha and Peter Nyambose was rejected by CAF.
However, Fote said the priority, for now, is Chaima and Msowoya.
“As for the others, we can use them in the group stages, but if we can have the two, then we will be rest assured to finish the qualifiers,” he said.
But FAM transfer regulations manager Casper Jangale said Bullets are fighting a losing battle as nothing is going to change unless they qualify for the quarter-finals.
“Maybe they are not understanding the rules clearly because what they [rules] stipulate is that players that are registered late can only be used in the group stages,” said Jangale.
Apart from the 16 eligible players that travelled to the Comoros for the preliminary round first-leg, the five that were dropped and are available for selection are Jelesi Lufeyo, Ian Chinyama, Brown Mizeyi, Moses Scott and Dalitso Siliva.
Coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan said Msowoya and Chaima’s exclusion greatly affected his plans.