Warriors captain Knowledge Musona grounded. Warriors star striker Knowledge Musona will not feature for KAS Eupen when they clash with his parent club RSC Anderlecht in a Belgian league match at the weekend, which was supposed to be an emotional return to the club where he has had a nightmarish stint.
The Smiling Assassin signed for the Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2018, but the club froze him out of competitive football and the player has often complained that he was not being given a chance to prove himself.
He joined the club from KV Oostende, where he had a successful career, making 103 appearances and scoring 35 goals. At Anderlecht, Musona made just eight appearances and scored one goal.
After a rather unsuccessful loan spell at Lokeren in the same league last year, Musona appears to be enjoying a new lease of life at KAS Eupen where he joined in another loan deal last month for the rest of the season.
He scored a goal 10 minutes into his debut against Charleroi last month in a 1-1 draw. There were huge worries for his club and Warriors fans after he limped off 32 minutes into his second match against Waasland-Beveren.
Musona managed to shake off the injury quickly and was back for KAS Eupen for the match against Cercle Brugge where he played the last 13 minutes of the game.
He played the full matches in his team’s last two games which had set perfectly the stage for an emotional return to Anderlecht. Last week, the forward admitted in an interview with a local paper that he was desperate to play against his parent club.
“To be honest, I asked the question a while ago. I was told we should check, but I haven’t gotten an answer yet, so I will have to ask again. I hope to be able to play,” he said. Musona’s fears were confirmed yesterday when his club announced that the rules and the contract between the two clubs did not allow him to feature in this clash.
“The KAS attacker Knowledge Musona lent by RSC Anderlecht is not eligible for the game on Sunday,” KAS Eupen said in a brief statement on their Twitter account yesterday.
According to Belgian newspaper L’Avenir, the striker is illegible to face his parent club because regulations of the Belgian Football Association stipulate that a loaned player is not allowed to feature in the encounter if his parent club is still paying part of the salary.
Anderlecht are said to be paying “a part of his salary” as per their contract with KAS Eupen. After the Anderlecht game, KAS Eupen will be left with three matches in the season where Musona will be hoping to feature and impress for two main reasons.
He wants to impress for the team who has an option to sign him permanently at the end of the season if they are happy with his output.
More importantly, Musona wants to play and gain the much-needed match fitness ahead of the Warriors’ busy schedule this year where they will play in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers starting next month.
Zimbabwe are currently second in their Afcon group on four points, two behind leaders and reigning Africa champions Algeria, who won both matches against the other group opponents Zambia and Botswana.
Despite his lack of match fitness at the time Zimbabwe played against Botswana and Zambia last year, Musona started both matches.
He created both goals for Zimbabwe when they beat Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka, and the Warriors team and its supporters will once again be looking to him for inspiration when the qualifiers resume with a back-to-back clash against Algeria at the end of March.
The World Cup qualifiers start in September where Zimbabwe will be looking to top a group which also comprises Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia.