Zimbabwe has withdrawn from the regional 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup set to kick off this Sunday with only three days to kick off citing security situation in Kenya.
The small landlocked country was one of the two invited guests together alongside Libya, surprisingly they withdrew from the regional champions with only three days to kick off citing ‘volatile’ security situation in Kenya.
“Following wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders, the Zimbabwe Football Association has resolved to withdraw its commitment to participate in the Cecafa Challenge Cup due to the security risk posed by the volatile situation in the host country, Kenya,” reads a statement released by the country’s FA.
The statement of ZIFA reads adding: “ZIFA reiterates its commitment to fulfilling all future tournaments and matches, provided the environment does not in any way risk the safety of participating teams.
“The withdrawal from such a prestigious tournament is unfortunate for us, the team, the nation and the tournament organizers, but the association had to make the complex decision in the best interest of all involved. ZIFA remains committed to its mandate of organizing competitive matches for all national teams, at the same time ensuring the safety of everyone participating.
“ZIFA is open to future similar engagements with CECAFA and other regional bodies because such tournaments afford national teams with invaluable competitive game time.
Zimbabwe who named a 29-man squad on Tuesday was set to kick off the event with the opening game against Uganda next Monday, December 4th.
Zimbabwe was pooled in Group B with defending champions Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia.