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No Africa Cup of Nations chance for Orient forward Bonne

PUBLISHED: 13:30 12 June 2019

Macauley Bonne lets fly for Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Macauley Bonne lets fly for Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's striker was not included in Zimbabwe's 23-man squad after issues with his passport

Macauley Bonne will not get the chance to represent Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations after his attempts to obtain a Zimbabwean passport before the tournament squad list deadline were thwarted.

The Leyton Orient forward was hopeful he had submitted the relevant paperwork in time at the Zimbabwean Embassy in London last month.

He tweeted on May 14 that he expected he would travel to Egypt this summer to be part of the Zimbabwe squad to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Yet a lack of progress saw Zimbabwe's national team get in touch with the Government, through the Ministry of Sport, to ask for special dispensation to ensure Bonne received a passport in time to be involved in the competition.

Despite the forward and the O's being hopeful the issue would be resolved, it hasn't been and as a result Zimbabwe were unable to include the striker in their 23-man squad before the Confederation of African Football (CAF) registration deadline.

This news is a blow to Bonne and his national team, who hoped the hotshot hitman could help them cause a surprise at the tournament.

Zimbabwe are in the same group as hosts' Egypt and are due to face Liverpool superstar Mo Salah on Friday, June 21st in the competition opener.

Bonne has been denied the chance to go head-to-head with the Reds attacker and will instead have to watch his countryman in the Africa Cup of Nations from afar.

Although given the news of Justin Edinburgh's tragic death, at the age of 49, on Saturday after a cardiac arrest, this passport issue will not be at the forefront of the Zimbabwean's mind right now.

He enjoyed an excellent rapport with the legendary Orient boss and scored 40 of his 49 goals for the O's under him, including 23 in the National League title-winning campaign.

"There are no words to describe the loss of our gaffer, our leader and our inspiration," Bonne tweeted.

"First and foremost my deepest condolences to Justin's family. He brought us all together - we're eternally grateful for everything you've done."

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