Zimbabwe’s national football team has withdrawn from the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup due to kick off this weekend citing the political ‘crisis’ in Kenya.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) confirmed the development in a statement released on Wednesday.
“Following wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders, the Zimbabwe Football Association has resolved to withdraw its commitment to participate in the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup due to the security risk posed by the volatile situation in the the host country,” the statement read in part.
“As a result, Zifa has immediately suspended all preparations related to the commitment made earlier.”
Kenya has experienced a turbulent election cycle punctuated with two disputed presidential elections in August and October 2017.
The latest stand-off occurred on Tuesday when police engaged opposition supporters in violent confrontations even as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto took their oaths of office that marked the commencement of the Jubilee government’s second term in office.
Similarly, Nairobi News understands that a number of the 10 participating national teams have expressed reservations about playing their matches in Kisumu.
The tournament kicks off on Sunday, with Kenya facing Rwanda in the opening match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan, Libya, Zanzibar and Burundi are the other teams taking part.