EFFORTS by the Football Association of Zambia (Faz) to have Zimbabwe barred from participating in African Nations Championships (Chan) finals next year have hit a brickwall after the Confederation of African Football dismissed their appeal based on Devon Chafa’s suspension.
Chafa was provisionally suspended by Fifa for 30 days pending a disciplinary hearing after a prohibited substance was found in his urine sample after a World Cup qualifier against Egypt on June 9 in Harare.
Zimbabwe beat Zambia 1-0 in the final qualifying round at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium last month to qualify for next year’s finals in South Africa, with the Dynamos midfielder taking part in the match.
Zambia had written to Caf alleging that Zimbabwe should be banned, based on Chafa’s suspension, according to the Daily Mail of Zambia.
Caf secretary-general Hichan El-Amrani wrote to the Chan organising committee on September 6, informing Zambia’s soccer governing body of Fifa’s ruling over the matter.
The case had already been dismissed by Zifa even before Faz appealed. Zimbabwe will now join 15 other countries for the draw next week to be held in Cairo, Egypt.
Yesterday, Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said they were going all out in preparation for next year’s finals and would give new coach Ian Gorowa all the necessary support.
The Warriors were due to play South Africa in an international friendly match at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg last night.
“Soon after the match against South Africa, the coach will come up with a comprehensive programme for December where we expect the national team will play some friendly matches.
“This is the reason why we agreed with the Premier Soccer League to have some midweek fixtures so that the league ends on time and the coach can then have his team. We are also aware that we might lose some players in January due to international movements, so the coach needs to have a larger pool in camp.
“We are still working on the modalities of taking the team that qualified for Chan to the highest office in the land for presentation,” Mashingaidze said.
Looking ahead to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that will begin in March, Mashingaidze said: “We have written to 72 associations seeking information on some of the players that might be available for the coach that are eligible to play for Zimbabwe.”