Cosafa Cup under threat after Zimbabwe pull out of hosting Afcon warm-up event

April 1 – This year’s Cosafa Cup is in danger of being scrapped after the Southern African regional body accused Zimbabwe of reneging on an agreement to host.

The tournament is scheduled for May 25 to June 1 but Felton Kamambo, the Zimbabwe FA president, has confirmed that the country has pulled out of what was supposed to have been a chance for five finalists in the African Cup of Nations to warm up for the showpiece event.

Instead it would now appear Angola, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe will lose that opportunity.

In a strongly worded statement, Cosafa – whose president, ironically, is former ZIFA boss Phillip Chiyangwa – accused Zimbabwe of breaching their hosting agreement and threatened disciplinary proceedings.

“The venue for the 2019 edition of the Cosafa senior tournament, scheduled from May 25 – June 8, remains undecided,” a statement said though it was not signed by Chiyangwa.  “Zimbabwe Football Association is now in breach of their hosting agreement, signed by Zifa late in January 2019, and returned to Cosafa.

“Following a board meeting convened on March 9 in Zimbabwe, Zifa reconfirmed their commitment to host the tournament in Zimbabwe, irrespective of whether they received government funding and guarantees. Zifa management committed to presenting to Cosafa written confirmation of this decision no later than March 25.

“Unfortunately they failed to deliver on the nominated deadline which has left Cosafa with no recourse other than to enforce their disciplinary procedures which process calls for Zifa to attend a disciplinary hearing scheduled on April 4 in Johannesburg.

“Cosafa is particularly disturbed by the management of the process by Zifa as 2019 is a critically pivotal year for football in the sub-Saharan region.

“For the first time in 21 years, five Cosafa member countries have qualified to participate in the continental showpiece.”

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