The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has granted Aston Villa permission to release Marvelous Nakamba late for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Cup Finals.

It’s believed that ZIFA were originally going to ask him to turn up in time for their pre-tournament training camp (Dec 23) but Villa and ZIFA agreed to let him turn up on January 3.

The initial plan would’ve seen Nakamba drop out of contention following the Burnley clash, but following Villa’s request, Nakamba will remain with Villa for the Chelsea, Leeds United and Brentford matches. ZIFA General Manager, Wellington Mpandare confirmed:

Villa have written to us asking for special favours regarding the release of Nakamba. They requested that Nakamba remains with their team for their EPL games and then they will release him on January 3. We looked into the matter and weighed the pros and cons. The fact that he will be playing competitive football at that level means a lot. It’s because he is doing well at the moment and we want him to bring his best form to the national team. So we agreed to their request and Marve will be joining the camp a bit later.

Nakamba has been one of Villa’s key players since the arrival of new coach Steven Gerrard who replaced Dean Smith.