Monday Apr 01, 2019. 13:00The 2019 Cosafa Cup may not be held after the Southern African regional body accused Zimbabwe of reneging on agreement to host this year’s tournament.
Zimbabwe appear to be struggling to source the necessary finances to hold the Cosafa Cup, and in the process will possibly deny five teams from the region a unique opportunity to warm up for the Africa Cup of Nations in a competitive environment.
Angola, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are the five Cosafa representatives who will play at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
In a strongly worded statement, Cosafa accused Zimbabwe of breaching their hosting agreement and threatened disciplinary proceedings.
"The venue for the 2019 edition of the Cosafa senior tournament, scheduled from May 25 - June 8, remains undecided," the statement said.
"Zimbabwe Football Association is now in breach of their hosting agreement, signed by Zifa late in January 2019, and returned to Cosafa.
"Following a board meeting convened on March 9 in Zimbabwe, Zifa reconfirmed their commitment to host the tournament in Zimbabwe, irrespective of whether they received government funding and guarantees.
"Zifa management committed to presenting to Cosafa written confirmation of this decision no later than March 25.
"Unfortunately they failed to deliver on the nominated deadline which has left Cosafa with no recourse other than to enforce their disciplinary procedures which process calls for Zifa to attend a disciplinary hearing scheduled on April 4 in Johannesburg.
"The hearing will be handled by Cosafa's independent judicial body, and the outcome and punitive action will be handed down within 48 hours of the hearing.
"Cosafa is particularly disturbed by the management of the process by Zifa as 2019 is a critically pivotal year for football in the sub-Saharan region.
"For the first time in 21 years, five Cosafa member countries have qualified to participate in the continental showpiece, including Zimbabwe's Warriors.”