Shepolopolo Under-20 Football Team’s dream of playing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been shuttered after the team’s failure to travel for the ongoing All Africa Games in Morocco.
The African Games are used as qualifiers for next year’s Olympics.
The team on Monday broke camp in Lusaka after travelling hitches prevented it from competing at the All Africa Games.
“FAZ 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 spokesperson Mwazi Chanda said.
“FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala states the Under 20 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,” Chanda said.
Zambia were placed in Group B with Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa and were scheduled to play the opening match last Saturday.
“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 on account of time and lack of space,” she added.
This Under-20 team last week won silver at the 2019 COSAFA Cup in South Africa after losing the final 2-1 against Tanzania in Port Elizabeth.