An immigration hitch is threatening Nkana’s buildup to Saturday’s Copperbelt derby grudge showdown away to Zesco United.
Zambian immigration officials on Wednesday raided Nkana Stadium to ascertain the validity of of Nkana’s two mid-season arrivals striker Fred Tshimanga and midfielder Diego Apanane’s work permits who joined from Forest Rangers in July.
On Thursday, both Nkana and immigration officials were locked in protracted consultations over the eligibility of the DR Congo-born duo.
“Immigration wants to find out the status of the players and we are still talking to them,” Nkana club secretary Ken Mwansa said.
The duo have been in impressive form since joining from Forest.
Tshimanga has so far scored two goals in four matches while Apanane scored his debut goal in last Saturdays 3-1 home win over National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Nkana are desperate to get the DR Congo duo cleared for Saturday’s game as the 12-time champions seek to end an agonising 15-league-match winless run against Zesco.
Zesco edge Nkana with nine wins and six draws dating back to 2004.
Nkana came close to breaking that drought in the first leg in April when Zesco escaped with a scoreless draw in Kitwe in a match they were on the back-foot the entire match.
Meanwhile should Tshimanga miss the match, it will half of a relief for Zesco against whom he scored while at Forest in a 2-1 away win over the champions on June 14 to hand them their second league defeat of the 2015 season.
However, one tormentor Zesco are expected to face is striker Walter Bwalya who also found the target in that loss to Forest before trekking to Nkana during the mid-season break.