The Zimbabwe Football Association has released a statement on the Mighty Warriors’ boycotted Olympic qualifier against Zambia which ought to have taken place at the National Sports Staidum on Sunday.
The match was called off 30 minutes before kick off after Zimbabwean players failed to turn up and ZIFA broken the silence in that regard.
Here is the statment in full
“3 September 2019
ZIFA’S POSITION ON THE ZIMBABWE VS ZAMBIA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFIER
The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby informs the nation that the Women Olympic Qualifier match between Zimbabwe and Zambia was called off by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) after it became apparent that the Football Association of Zambia was not agreeable to our request to reschedule the match to 2 September 2019.
The final decision on the two-legged qualifier will be pronounced by FIFA in due course and the nation will be advised accordingly.
This eventuality emanated from the withdrawal of players from the Mighty Warriors camp at 2300 hrs on the eve of the match by Black Rhinos Queens FC, Blue Swallows Queens FC and Correctional Services Queens FC respectively. Herentals Queens FC later withdrew their players on the day of the match.
It must be noted that ZIFA paid allowances in advance and in full for the first leg which was played in Zambia. There was a written commitment by the team’s leadership that the team would fulfil both matches against Zambia. It was also verbally agreed that ZIFA would meet the women’s football leadership on 7 September and discuss the issue of allowances for the COSAFA tournament. Efforts were already underway to raise funds to pay players all their outstanding allowances.
The conduct of the clubs in question is a clear breach of FIFA regulations governing the release of players for national duty as read with the Sport and Recreation Act (SRC Act) and the ZIFA constitution.
Investigations into what transpired are already underway and appropriate action will be taken in line with the dictates of the football statutes.
ZIFA is grateful to all clubs which supported national cause by letting their players stay with the team even when they were not enough to make up a team. The professionalism and patriotism displayed by the clubs embodies the spirit which all football stakeholders should embrace if our football is to develop.
The Association is under siege from various forces who are clearly bent on destabilising our efforts to reposition the beautiful game of football. We shall continue to carry out our mandate as is expected by the ZIFA Assembly and all the stakeholders at large.
Even though this was not a deliberate act by ZIFA to disenfranchise the Mighty Warriors of the right to partake in sport, the association sincerely apologises to the whole nation, FIFA , CAF , Government and our supporters unfortunate and embarrassing events of 1 September 2019.
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF ZIMBABWE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION: –
XOLISANI GWESELA, COMMUNICATIONS AND COMPETITIONS MANAGER”