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Ex-Pirates Player In Club-Versus-Country Row

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Marshall Munetsi is reportedly in the middle of a club-versus-country row after his European team refused to let him report for international duty with Zimbabwe.

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According to NewsDay, the former PSL star was not allowed to join up with his national team colleagues for this international break.

Munetsi, who represented the Buccaneers from 2017 to 2019, was named in Zimbabwe's squad ahead of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month, but did not show.

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It is claimed that his team Stade Reims, a Ligue 1 club, refused to release him, claiming he was struggling with fitness issues despite the 24-year-old playing 90 minutes in his side's last match before Zimbabwe's fixtures.

"They (Reims) refused to release the player. We wrote to them demanding the release of the player so that he could be assessed by our medical staff, but they declined. We will be meeting soon to decide the next course of action." a statement from Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela read

ZIFA could reportedly submit a formal complaint to FIFA, who do not take clubs refusing to release players for international duty lightly, and have punished many teams in the past for these actions.

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