Zimbabwe FA and Cosafa on a collision course over ‘broken’ agreement

Knox Mutizwa of Zimbabwe celebrates a goal with teammates during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Lesotho and Zimbabwe at Moruleng Stadium. (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Knox Mutizwa of Zimbabwe celebrates a goal with teammates during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Lesotho and Zimbabwe at Moruleng Stadium. (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Cosafa maintain that Zifa are in breach of their Hosting Agreement which they signed late in January and returned to Cosafa.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) are embroiled in a controversy surrounding a tournament the African country was due to host from May 25 to June 8.

Cosafa maintain that Zifa are in breach of their Hosting Agreement which they signed late in January 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 calls for Zifa to attend a Disciplinary Hearing scheduled for April 4 in Johannesburg.

The hearing will be handled by Cosafa’s independent judicial body, and the outcome and punitive action will be handed down within 48 hours of the hearing.

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, including Zimbabwe’s celebrated Warriors.

The tournament has consistently proved to be a vibrant platform of opportunity for all competing countries with coaches and team management planning to use the Cosafa tournament to fine-tune their training prior to the Afcon June 21 kick-off.

Cosafa remain hopeful that Zifa will remedy the current situation prior to the DC hearing on April 4.

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