Zimbabwe: Women's World Cup Tie Unlikely

13 August 2020

With just a few weeks before FIFA Under-20 women's World Cup qualifiers begin, it's very unlikely the matches will go ahead as scheduled.

The Young Mighty Warriors are set to take on their Ethiopian counterparts.

The matches are set for September 3 to 12.

CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, told the organisation's latest newsletter the time was not yet right for inter-continental matches.

"I have been hearing there, and there, that football will resume its normal course at the start of classic school year, that is to say from next September, and with it the train of elements which usually condition it," he said.

"(That is) utra-busy stadiums, as spectators, public training sessions, meetings with fans and congratulations and autograph sessions, exactly as it existed before the arrival of the Covid-19 tsunami.

"Let me brush aside all these fantasies with the back of my hand and oppose them with a glaring truth -- the coronavirus is still with us and it continues to wreak havoc.

"And, even if the African continent has not experienced the damage of a devastating contagion, it is, none the less, seriously affected."

Ahmad said there must be a balance of impatience and reality.

"In this, we must balance our impatience, refrain from leaving in a hurry, forgetting the achievements of a formidable containment deployed on the majority of African states," he said.

"It is on this issue of haste that I have endeavoured with my colleagues on the executive committee to recall the health commands issued by the scientific authorities in line with the public authorities.

"There can be no hasty recovery if there is no consensus on the medical situation in each country.

"It is our duty to be patient by listening attentively to specialised structures.

"The central administration of CAF will continue its permanent relationship with the national associations, specifying the frameworks of the future programmes that will be provided.

"Like all of you, we have a burning desire to get back to the normal flow of African football life and let's be frank, we are also very eager to relive those unique atmospheres that give the chills in the stadiums.

"But, the main thing is the health for all, the preservation of a good quality of life and the fight for health prevention, the real football atmospheres will return once these objectives are obtained."

In July, CAF announced the FIFA Under-20 Women World Cup qualifiers, were resuming the first week of September.

The Young Mighty Warriors are scheduled to travel to Addis Ababa before they host the East Africans in the first round, of the two-legged clash between Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

The winner will progress to the second round, which has been slated for October, while the last qualifying round will be played in November.

But, if Ahmad's latest statement is anything to go by, the matches are unlikely to be played as scheduled next month.

Two World Cup slots are up for grabs for the African teams for the Under-20 tournament.

Rosemary Mugadza's troops will have to negotiate past three gruelling rounds in the continental qualifiers.

The Young Mighty Warriors earned the first round berth after they beat Malawi 2-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round in February.

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