BidVest Wits midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha was barred by his club from attending national team duty with Zimbabwe this weekend.
The veteran former Kaizer Chiefs star was called up for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola in Harare yesterday, but Wits told him he must stay at home after the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) only notified them of his call-up last Monday.
Although the match was played on an official FIFA match day as per the international calendar, Wits CEO Jose Ferreira says ZIFA flouted the rules.
“The procedure for international call-ups is quite clear,” Ferreira told Goal.com. “National associations must notify clubs 15 days prior to the fixtures and that was not done in this case.
“For us it is a matter of principle, I am sick and tired of African national associations trying to bend the rules. If they are not willing to stick to the rules, then I will not accommodate them.”
Asked how Nengomasha had taken the news that he would not be able to travel for the game, Ferreira hinted at his unhappiness.
“But it is not about that,” he added. “It is about sticking to the rules, and he and ZIFA must understand that.”
Nengomasha joined Wits from Kaizer Chiefs at the end of last season after 12 years at Naturena in which he made 306 starts for Chiefs. It is still some way off the club record of 397 held by Doctor Khumalo, who played 16 successive seasons for Chiefs, even coming back to the club in the off-season when he spent two years at American club Columbus Crew.
He was offered a new one-year deal by the AmaKhosi, but opted instead to sign a more lucrative contract with The Clever Boys.
Chiefs say they will still hold a testimonial game for one of their longest-serving players sometime over the next year.