IHF Trophy postponement a huge blow
Ellina Mhlanga–Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Handball Federation have described the postponement of the International Handball Federation Trophy Zone Six as a huge blow.
There have been several changes to the initial date of the regional tournament that is set to be staged in Zimbabwe.
The competition, which caters for the youth and junior teams, was scheduled for April before it was moved to July.
The dates were then changed again due to further changes on the African Handball Confederation (CAHB) calendar and the competition was rescheduled for June 19 to 25.
But CAHB recently informed the hosts of further changes, indicating the event has been indefinitely postponed.
“We kindly inform you that, together with the International Handball Federation (IHF), the African Handball Confederation (CAHB) decided to postpone to later dates all the 2022 IHF Trophy tournaments of Africa.
“We will send you the new calendar the coming days.
“The African Handball Confederation (CAHB) apologises for any inconvenience those postponements may cause,” reads part of the letter from CAHB.
ZHF secretary general, Edson Chirowodza, said they are concerned with the continued postponements of the tournament.
“It’’s a huge blow for us as we were gearing up towards hosting it. It affects our service providers as they were also gearing up to the tournament.
“The postponement actually drew all efforts backwards in all areas as people had gathered momentum in terms of preparations.
“Confirmation of countries was also delayed by the position of CAHB and IHF to give them a greenlight to claim their travel costs since the tournament is funded by them.
“So we were just expecting all the nine countries to participate,” said Chirowodza.
The tournament is catered for by the International Handball Federation and countries from the region that usually participate are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Preparations to host the event have been ongoing with a local organising committee, led by Chirowodza, in place.
Local teams have also had some periodic camps building up for the event.
The ZHF secretary-general Chirowodza said the national executive board and local organising committee met last Friday to discuss the development.
“We met on Friday and the board awaits response from CAHB and IHF on the way forward,” said Chirowodza.
Zimbabwe won the bid to host the IHF Trophy in 2019 to host the 2020 edition. However, it was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic and were looking forward to hosting the tournament this year.