Sports Minister Emmanuel Mulenga says it is unfortunate and depressing that FAZ has failed to fly the under 20 girls National team to Morocco after Government paid all logistical requirements in Morocco.
Mulenga said from Morocco where he is leading the Zambian delegates said the development is depressing.
He stated that government paid for the Under 20 trip to Morocco but that the team could not travel.
“We are here in Morocco where we have joined Team Zambia participating in the All African Games. We believe that sports is a skill that can help our boys and girls live their dreams. Our focus is not only football but all the sports disciplines in the country,” Mulenga said.
“We want to thank the National Sports Council, the National Olympics Committee of Zambia , the Zambia Amateur Athletics Association and other sports disciplines that are representing Team Zambia here in Morocco. It’s unfortunate and depressing that FAZ has failed to fly the under 20 girls National team to Morocco after Government paying all logistical requirements in Morocco.”
Meanwhile, FAZ says the girls failed to make the trip to Morocco because of Visa glitches.
In a statement, FAZ Spokesperson Mwazi Sakala said the Association failed to have the Visas for all yen girls processed on time and secure flights for all them.
Sakala said the team which camped in South Africa has since broken camp and arrived back home in Zambia, aborting the mission.
Below is the full statement from FAZ.
(For Immediate Release)
Football Association of Zambia
19th August, 2019
UNDER 20 WOMENS TEAM BREAK CAMP, CALL OFF 2019 ALL AFRICA GAMES PARTICIPATION
The Football Association of Zambia wishes to advise the public that the Under 20 Women’s team has broken camp and regrettably will not be able to take part in the All Africa Games currently underway in Morocco.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala states that the Under 20 Women team were initially booked to travel directly from South Africa to Morocco but were requested to secure visa letters for entry into Morocco and so were re-routed back to Lusaka on 13 August 2019.
The Under 20 Women’s team recently participated in the inaugural Under 20 COSAFA Women’s tournament held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and were scheduled to proceed to Morocco for the 2019 All Africa Games, but due to the lengthy procedure in securing the visa letters, the team remained in camp for additional days and several adjustments to flight schedules were made to avoid a no-show situation for a second time.
As the visa letters were being processed, it became clear that the full team would not be able to travel to Morocco in time for them to meet competition fixtures due to non-availability of seats on flights.
The association has since decided to call off the trip to the All Africa Games on account of time and lack of space.
The team arrived from Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 13 August and failed to proceed to Morocco on the same day due to the non-availability of the visa letters.
Arrangements were made to re-schedule the flight for 14 August 2019 at 18:00hrs but the team was still without the visa letter and so the booking was cancelled.
The visa letters were received on 14 August 2019 at 22:00hrs at which time flights into Morocco were fully booked, with openings only becoming available after Tuesday 20 August 2019.
The Football Association of Zambia wishes the public to take note of the fact that despite every effort made and the huge costs incurred in securing tickets for the team, it was not logistically feasible for the Under 20 Women’s team to arrive in Morocco in time to participate in the competition and hence the painful decision to call off the trip.
The association has since communicated to the Ministry of Sports, Youth & Child Development and the competition officials.
The Football Association of Zambia regrets that Zambia will not be represented in the women’s football category but remain committed to promoting women’s football and commend the Under 20 Women’s team for their solidarity in this time.
We look forward to participation in the Olympic Qualifiers by the Senior Women’s team on 28 August at Nkoloma Stadium and in the COSAFA Under 17 women’s tournament to be held in September 2019.
For and on behalf of:
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA