Zesco United have been forced to make four last minute changes to their team to face Mbabane Swallows away on Saturday in eSwatini duet immigration problems.
Four players were denied exit from Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport in Ndola to Johannesburg where the team transited to eSwatini on Thursday after their passports were red -flagged in the system as over-stayer’s in South Africa when Zesco held a pre-season camp there in January.
The quartet is striker Jesse Were, defender Marcel Kalonda including the Burundi duo of goalkeeper Dieudonne Ntibahezwa and midfielder Enock Sabumukama.
“The four players were declared prohibited immigrants by the immigration authorities due to the two extra days the team spent in that country,” Zesco CEO Richard Mulenga said.
Midfielder Dave Daka, striker Winston Kalengo, goalkeeper Samson Banda and defender Edward Tembo have replaced the quartet and are already in eSwatini.
Meanwhile, Zesco must beat Swallows on in their penultimate Group D match to keep their slim quarterfinal hopes alive.
Zesco are bottom of Group D with 2 points from four games and are two points behind third placed Swallows.
They are a further three points adrift of second placed Primeiro de Agosto of Angola who beat them 2-1 away in Luanda on July 27 that dimmed their quarterfinal hopes.
Etoile du Sahel, whom Zesco host in their final Group D match on August 28 in Ndola, have qualified with two games in hand on 10 points.