The venue for the 2019 edition of the COSAFA Senior Tournament, scheduled from May 25 to June 8, remains undecided.
The 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 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 COSAFA Senior Tournament has consistently proved to be a vibrant platform of opportunity for all competing countries, and in 2019 has become a key factor in pre-AFCON preparation for the successful qualifiers, 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.