Zimbabwe has pulled out of the African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and subsequent travel restrictions.
The U17 Boys and Girls’ teams were supposed to participate in the tournament scheduled for Maseru, Lesotho, this week.
In a statement, COSAFA said: “The emergence of the Omicron variant and subsequent travel difficulties associated with it have forced more changes to the fixtures for the Boys’ and Girls’ football competitions at the Region 5 Games Maseru 2020.
“The tournaments have already been hit by a number of withdrawals, with Zimbabwe (Boys & Girls), Seychelles (Boys) and Comoros (Girls) the latest to pull out over travel issues.
“It means both competitions have been shortened, with the Boys to run from December 1-7 and the Girls from Dec 2-6.”
The withdrawal of Zimbabwe, meanwhile, comes after the Boys and Girls’ teams made a late submission to participate in the tournament.