U-20 WOMEN TEAM TRAVEL FIASCO
Written by Millennium on August 21, 2019
MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
FAZ regrets that the Under 20 women national soccer team will not be participating at the ongoing All Africa Games in Morocco after having failed to meet their travelling arrangements on time, says general secretary Adrian Kashala.
Kashala confirmed the under-20 women junior soccer team had broken camp and regrettably would not be able to take part in the All Africa Games currently underway in Morocco.
But sports Minister Emmanuel Minister was quoted having said that government was disappointed to see the girls team fail to compete at the games due to avoidable challenges.
Kashala said that the team was initially booked to travel directly from South Africa to Morocco but were requested to secure visa letters for entry into Rabat and were consequently re-routed back to Lusaka on August 13.
The team recently participated at 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.
Kashala said 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.
He said that as the visa letters were being processed, it became clear that the 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.
Kashala said FAZ decided to call off the trip on account of time and lack of space.
“FAZ wishes to inform the public 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,’’ Kashala said.
Minister of Sport Emmanuel Mulenga said that with proper planning and communication the debacle could have been avoided.
Mulenga said he was disappointed that the team could not make it to the competition after having had a good showing at the COSAFA .