Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA are seeking to avert a total fallout with COSAFA after the association yesterday appealed for the postponement of a disciplinary hearing in which they are facing charges of breaching the contract for the hosting of this year’s tournament.
The association were supposed to appear before the organisation’s Disciplinary Committee today in Johannesburg, South Africa, but the matter will now be determined next Thursday.
Zimbabwe face heavy sanctions for reneging on their undertaking to host the regional football competition.
The COSAFA tournament is pencilled to run from May 25 to June 8, but the fate of this year’s tournament hangs in the balance following the gaffe.
ZIFA communications manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said they have asked for the postponement.
The association, which received the summons a few days ago, requested for more time to prepare their arguments.
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.
“We have written to COSAFA asking for the postponement of the hearing so that they allow us time to prepare for the hearing.
“I can confirm that our request has been granted and the hearing will now be done on April 11. Since the matter is still before the COSAFA Disciplinary Committee, I will not comment further than this.
“More details will be provided later,” said Gwesela.
ZIFA committed themselves to hosting the tournament which was previously played on the Zimbabwean soil once in 2009, with the Warriors coming out victorious.
But their hopes of bringing the tournament home again came to naught when they failed to get Government guarantees.
Apparently, this year’s COSAFA tournament holds greater significance than before as five regional countries have qualified for the finals of the AFCON tournament to be held in Egypt between June and July.
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Madagascar, Angola and Namibia have qualified for the 2019 continental football jamboree and the COSAFA tournament was going to provide the platform they needed going into the tournament.
If found guilty they are likely to incur fines of up to $1million and a possible ban.
However, ZIFA are understood to be working on an alternative plan to avert the sanctions.