Zimbabwe senior men’s soccer team, the Warriors along with Kenya have been disqualified from taking part in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers following the decision by FIFA to suspend the country from footballing activities.
FIFA suspended Zimbabwe following the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) decision to suspend the Felton Kamambo led ZIFA board on a litany of charges, which include gross incompetence, failure to account for public funds and sexual abuse of female referees.
As a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by FIFA set aside, CAF has confirmed that they will not participate in the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers.
“The qualifiers will kick-off on the first day of June 2022. CAF had included them in the official draw earlier in April 2022 on condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match day.
“Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the FIFA Congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension. As a result: Because of the suspension, the following will apply:The two associations; Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) will be considered losers and eliminated from the competition.
“Groups C and K will be composed only of three teams and the order of the matches will be maintained in accordance with the match schedule that has been communicated to the teams after the draw. The first and runner-up teams of those groups will qualify to the final tournament.” read the CAF statement.
Zimbabwe had been drawn against South Africa, Morocco and Liberia in the qualifying campaign set to commence on June 4 2022.
Prior to the first qualifying match FIFA had set the lifting of the suspension as a condition for the Warriors to participate in the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) says Zimbabwe will not participate in this year’s tournament unless FIFA lifts the country’s suspension from international football.
The 2022 edition of the COSAFA Cup competition will be held from 5-17 July in Durban, South Africa.