Bad news for Zimbabweans: Khama Billiat retires from international football

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WARRIORS skipper Khama Billiat has hung up his international boots, hardly a day after he wore the captain’s armband in a dead-rubber Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, where the national team played to a 1-1 draw.

The Kaizer Chiefs striker broke the news on his Twitter account yesterday, where he paid homage to his teammates and Warriors technical team for helping in building his international career.

Part of the letter read: “It was all a dream. When I was young, I always dreamt of representing the country, playing for the national team.

“The dream which seemed far-fetched for a young Khama in Mufakose came when I least expected it.

“The first day I donned the Warriors badge, I vowed to enjoy myself and always lift the country’s spirits.

“Scoring a goal at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals is one moment I still relive in my mind even up to date. It is one of the many special moments I have experienced wearing the coveted yellow jersey.”

“The feeling of scoring in a packed stadium for your nation is inexplicable.”

He added: “I have met so many teammates, coaches at the national team and I appreciate every relationship I have built along the way. By playing for the Warriors, I have improved immensely as a player. It is an opportunity I will forever cherish.

“However, every story, no matter how beautiful, has an ending. This is probably the heaviest decision I have ever had to take in my life, but it is a decision I make with a patriotic heart.

“Like those who had to pave way for our generation of Warriors stars to emerge, I have decided to retire from international football. I believe it is now time for me to pave way for new talent to blossom and serve the country in the same way that I did, or even better.

“I will forever be indebted to those who took a chance on me and moulded me into the international player I grew to become. Thank you Zimbabwe for supporting me and my teammates, for showing love with each outing.”

The 31-year-old Billiat had represented Zimbabwe twice at the African Cup of Nations finals in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

His manager Godfrey Bakasa had not responded to questions sent to him by the time of going to print last night.

Billiat’s decision to hang his boots comes as the Warriors prepare for the Afcon finals set for Cameroon in January.

– NewsDay


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