Justin SHonga of Zambia challenged by John Takwara of Zimbabwe during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zambia and Zimbabwe at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 09 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Tuesday Dec 19, 2017. 15:30
The Zimbabwean Football Association has announced the cancellation of the Christmas Challenge Cup which was set for this Saturday in Harare.
The encounter was set to see Zambia visiting the Warriors to meet in a friendly, but ZIFA has confirmed the cancellation.
ZIFA announced the cancellation of the match due to the non-availability of the National Sports Stadium, which is booked for a wedding on the same day.
The development comes after the FA released a 24-member squad that was picked by coach Sunday Chidzambwa and was scheduled to go into camp on Wednesday in preparation for the match.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association regrets to inform all football stakeholders that the proposed Christmas Challenge Cup between the senior teams of Zimbabwe and Zambia has been cancelled due to the non-availability of the National Sports Stadium on 23 December,” ZIFA said.
“The match between the legends of South African football and their counterparts from Zimbabwe which was supposed to serve as pre-match entertainment has also been called off.
“The association was advised that the facility is booked for a wedding on the same date, therefore, the friendly match cannot go ahead.
“ZIFA is concerned by the prioritising of non-sporting events ahead of football matches when it comes to access to the National Sports Stadium. ZIFA unreservedly apologises to all stakeholders for all inconveniences caused.”
It’s not clear, however, why the encounter was not moved to alternative venues such as Rufaro Stadium in Harare or even Barbourfields in Bulawayo.