EGYPT clubs taking part in the hockey African Cup of Club Champions (ACCC) to be hosted by Kumalo Hockey Stadium arrived in Bulawayo yesterday for the tournament that will start on Saturday to November 30.
The North Africans have sent in four teams, Sharkia (men and women) and Egypt Police (men) and Shams (women).
Tournament public relations officer Loveness Chirwa yesterday confirmed the arrival of the clubs and said they were expecting teams from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi and Tanzania to be in the country in time for accreditation which will be done on Friday morning before the competition begins.
The tournament will see 19 clubs, including three from Zimbabwe — Hippo Valley and Eradicators (men) and Bulawayo Athletic Club (women) — taking part.
“Egypt has arrived and they have checked in at their hotel,” Chirwa said.
“We are expecting all the other teams to be in before Friday when we will do our accreditation.
“The local organising committee has been working overtime. The local teams are also here and we are ready to host the tournament. We very excited.”
Kenya will be sending in two women’s clubs — Orange and Strathmore — while Nigeria will bring in Police Machines (men) and Heartlands (women).
From Ghana, there is GRA and Ghana Police (men and women) and Trustees (men). Malawi will be sending in Genetrix (men and women) while Tanzania will provide only a women’s team, Twende.
The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (Haz) has said all is set for the tournament which will see about 50 matches being played at Kumalo.
“The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe and the local organising committee are now ready to host the tournament,” reads a statement from Haz.
“All the officials’ appointments by Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) have been concluded.
“The tournament director and umpires’ manager are both from South Africa while all the Zimbabwean contingent of officials nominated have been appointed to officiate at the tournament.
“Ginny Ross will be the AfHF’s representative, Sarah Bennett and Humphrey Chigwedere will be technical officers, Tafara Mukaro and Pauline Ndhlovu will be judges while Tapiwa Mafi, Bryan Lowe and Sharne Meyers will be umpires.”
All other nations are supposed to supply officials.
AfHF requested Zimbabwe to once again host the tournament which had been slated for Nigeria, but countries were not willing to travel to that country following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola.
Zimbabwe hosted the ACCC at Kumalo Hockey Stadium in December 2012 where Sharkia of Egypt retained the club championships title in the men’s category while the women’s section was won by Telkom Ladies of Kenya.