Flames South Africa-based duo of defender Harry Nyirenda and striker Chiukepo Msowoya said they could not pretend to be fit for the sake of making a Flames trip; hence, their absence from the squad that meets Kenya in Saturdayâ€™s 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The two were part of the 30-plus players coach Kinnah Phiri called for the game, but were left behind without an explanation with some quarters speculating that the players had deliberately ignored the trip.
But Nyirenda and Msowoya, who are in the country, said they have just recovered from injuries and felt it was not necessary to force themselves into the team.
“I spoke to Kinnah [Phiri] and he understood my position. I am currently doing intensive fitness training with Chiukepo and Robert Ngâ€™ambi as well as training with my former club Wanderers FC. We will join the team once they return from Kenya,” said Nyirenda who plays for Black Leopards.
On his part, Platinum Stars striker Msowoya, who has also been out with an injury recently, said the Kenya game is important and only players that are fit deserve to feature.
“This is an important match as it will shape our chances in this group. I, for one, was not mentally and physically prepared for the game,” he said.
Ngâ€™ambi ruled himself out after fears of going under a heart surgery. He is also training with Tigers FC on top of the trioâ€™s special fitness training programme under technical director Jack Chamangwana.