Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe faces a staggering fine of US$150 000 and a possible ban from participation in future Cosafa competitions after the Sports and Recreation Commission refused to sanction the Under-20 trip to South Africa for the Cosafa Championship that gets underway next month.
Zifa had already confirmed participation and making a late withdrawal has dire consequences according to the Cosafa tournament rules.
SRC, according to information gathered, needed 30 days notification.
“Yes (the trip been aborted), the sports commission says they need 30 days notification but they were notified on the 9th of October and they cleared teams to start training on the 16th. They want names of travelling party 30 days in advance which is not possible in football,” the source told Chronicle Sports.
Efforts to get a comment from the SRC board chairman Gerald Mlotshwa or the director general Prince Mupazviriho, yielded no success.
Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela, however confirmed that the country’s supreme sports body had refused to approve the trip.
“We confirm that we have received correspondence from SRC not approving the U-20 team to travel to South Africa. We are disappointed by this decision and we have since appealed to the Minister of Sport, Kirsty Coventry,” said Gwesela.
The Under-20 boys coach Tonderayi Ndiraya and his assistants Mandla Lulu Mpofu and Nesbert Saruchera have been in camp at Prince Edwards High School in Harare and were set to leave for South Africa on Monday.