Zimbabwe winners of the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zambia and Zimbabwe at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 09 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 15:00
Despite having initially agreed to participate at the upcoming 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge, Zimbabwe has pulled out of the East African tournament.
The Warriors were set to appear at the showpiece as guests, but are not going to Kenya due to security concerns.
Zimbabwe, along with Libya, had been invited as guests for the regional event that will include defending champions Uganda, hosts Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
With the showpiece starting this Sunday, coach Sunday Chidzambwa had announced a squad, but the Zimbabwe Football Association felt it was not safe for the team to play in Kenya.
“Following wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders, the Zimbabwe Football Association has resolved to withdraw its commitment to participate in the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup due to the security risk posed by the volatile situation in the host country, Kenya,” ZIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
On the other hand, CECAFA general secretary Nicholas Musonye confirmed they received a letter from the Southern African nation.
“Yes we have received communication from the Zimbabwe FA that they have pulled out the team,” Musonye told the BBC Sport.
Although a source close to the News Day website said the real reason for the withdrawal was because of the unavailability of funds, the FA has rubbished the claims.
Zimbabwe were set to face the Cranes of Uganda on Monday, December 4 and Musonye said they will adjust the fixtures.
He also said the tournament, set to run from 3-17 December, will go ahead.