Warriors, Somalia WC qualifier moved from Barbourfields

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By Sports Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Warriors’ 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Somalia which was initially scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday will now be played at the National Sports Stadium next Tuesday, ZIFA announced in a statement on Thursday.

ZIFA said the change in the date and venue of the second leg was caused by a request from the Somali Football Federation, who had failed to secure flights to Zimbabwe on time.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) wishes to advise all football stakeholders that following a request from the Somali Football Federation (SFF) and consultations with the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), our 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifier second leg against Somalia has been rescheduled,” ZIFA said in a statement

“The match will now be played on Tuesday 10 September 2019 after SFF failed to secure flights to Zimbabwe in time for the initial fixture date which was Sunday September 8.”

With Babourfields Stadium also set to host the Young Warriors’ Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier final round second leg qualifier against South Africa Tuesday, Zifa decided to have the senior team play Somalia in Harare.

“The venue of the match has also been moved from Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo to the National Sports Stadium in Harare because we already have another international match scheduled for Barbourfields on the 10th of September, the Under 23 Zimbabwe/South Africa, Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. We understand the inconvenience this development presents to all stakeholders and we unreservedly apologise for the unexpected developments.

“In the spirit of fair play, African solidarity, brotherhood and togetherness, we felt the Somali Football Federation’s request was reasonable and sincere, thus we had to consent, otherwise the match would not have taken place at all,’’ further read the statement from Zifa.

The football mother body said football fans who had already purchased tickets for the Sunday match could still use them in Harare while they are also prepared to refund supporters who cannot make the trip to the capital city for the match.