By Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe’s romance with the regional Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) could be over after the country was banned from participating in the 2020 edition of the tournament and face further isolation until they pay US$200 000 fine.
The ban comes after Zimbabwe reneged on their promise to host the Cosafa tournament this year after failing to get necessary government guarantees.
South Africa ended up hosting the tournament that was eventually won by Zambia.
Zifa made a commitment to host the regional tournament last year, a decision that was taken by the association’s previous executive committee, led by Phillip Chiyangwa who is ironically the regional president.
Zimbabwe are the tournament’s record winners, having bagged the regional championship six times.
Cosafa broke the news of Zimbabwe’s ban on Wednesday through a letter addressed to Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse by the regional board’s general secretary Sue Destombes.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association was to have complied with the terms of the Suspensive Verdict by 30th June 2019 failing which the terms of the Original Verdict would be applied,” read the letter.
“You are hereby notified that due to the fact that the terms of the Suspensive Verdict have not been fulfilled, the terms of the Original Verdict dated 25th April 2019 are now applied these being as follows:
“Zimbabwe Football Association is suspended from participating with its Senior Men’s National Team in the 2020 edition of the Cosafa Cup; payment in the amount of US$200 000 (Two hundred thousand United States Dollars) must be paid to Cosafa by deadline 15th August 2019; failure to effect payment in terms of (2) above shall result in the suspension of Zimbabwe Football Association from participating in any and all Cosafa competitions until such time as payment of the fine has been met in full,” Cosafa further stated.
Cosafa’s damning verdict comes barely two weeks after Zifa’s failed attempted to recall the regional body president Chiyangwa accusing him of having a hand in the chaos that marred Zimbabwe’s chaotic Afcon campaign.
In what has turned out to be a bad month for Zimbabwean sport, the country’s cricket controlling body was suspended by the International Cricket Council over government interference following the removal of the local board by the Sports and Recreation Commission.