The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has confirmed that the U20 women's national team will not travel to Morocco for the All Africa Games.
In a communiqué made available to Futaa Zambia, FAZ Communications Manager Mwazi Chanda confirmed the development stating that securing of Visa letters late was the cause of the unfortunate decision.
"The Football Association of Zambia 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 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." Read part of the statement.
"The Under 20 Women’s team recently participated in the inaugural Under 20 COSAFA Women’s tournament held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and were scheduled to proceed to Morocco for 2019 All Africa Games, but 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.
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."
The Visa letters were only secured on Wednesday, 14th August around 22:00hrs and by then the flights to Morocco had already been fully booked with space only been found on Tuesday a day before their second game of the group.
"The team arrived from Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 13 August and failed to proceed to Morocco on the same day due to the non-availability of the visa letters. Arrangements were made to re-schedule the flight for 14 August 2019 at 18:00hrs but the team was still without the visa letter and so the booking was canceled. The visa letters were received on 14 August 2019 at 22:00hrs at which time flights into Morocco were fully booked, with openings only becoming available after Tuesday 20 August 2019."
Zambia was drawn in group B alongside South Africa, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The Young Copper Queens were supposed to open their campaign against Cameroon on Sunday, 18th August before facing South Africa on Wednesday 21st August and concluding their group games against Nigeria on 24th August.
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