Zimbabwe’s participation in Afcon still not clear

Johannesburg- By late yesterday, the Zimbabwean Football Association (Zifa) was still involved in a last-ditch attempt to stop that country’s football national team, The Warriors, from taking part in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.

The team and officials, who are already in Cameroon, are managed by the government-appointed Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) following the suspension of Zifa in November.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to open their Group B Afcon campaign against Senegal tomorrow. They will then face Malawi on Friday before wrapping up their group stage run against Guinea next Tuesday.

Zifa president Felton Kamambo told Sunday World yesterday that earlier this year, Zifa sent communications to the CAF (Cofederation of African Football) that the Zimbabwean delegation in Cameroon is being managed by a body (SRC) appointed by the government. He added that they requested that those officials, the players and the coaching staff must not be accredited.

Zifa was dissolved by Zimbabwe’s sports bosses and politicians. Kamambo was suspended in November after Zifa was accused of failure to account for public funds. The football association then appealed to Fifa in a bid to reverse the ban. Fifa responded, saying there was no proof in the allegations.

Fifa then gave SRC until January 3 to reverse the suspension or face potential sanctions.

Zambia were salivating at the prospects of gaining a back-door entry into the Afcon should Fifa stamp its authority. Even some South African supporters were excited about the thought of Bafana Bafana replacing Zimbabwe.

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Kgomotso Mokoena

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