By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Following communication from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has issued a press release to inform members of the football family and stakeholders that the Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group H qualifier between Zambia and Botswana will be played behind closed doors.
FAZ had engaged CAF after receiving clearance from the Ministry of Health to trigger the process of bringing fans into the stadium for the crunch Africa Cup of Nations qualifier but the request has been denied.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala says CAF has communicated that the request to host the match with fans was not successful.
“We regret to inform members of the football family that our request to have fans in the stadium has been rejected. The decision is line with the CAF guidelines put in place arising from the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world,” Kashala said.
“We advise that fans abide by this directive to stay away from the stadium to avoid sanctions from CAF.”
Kashala said fans will however have an opportunity to watch the game through ZNBC who have been granted rights to beam the match live.
“We are happy that ZNBC will step in to show the game live which will allow fans to watch the Chipolopolo,” he said.
Kashala said FAZ was however happy that the Ministry of Sports has given FAZ permission to allow fans for league matches with strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
“The Ministry of Sports has allowed us to admit fans for league matches. We urge our members to adhere to strict Covid-19 guidelines as provided the protocols,” he said.
Zambia plays Botswana on Thursday in a Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at National Heroes Stadium at 18:00 hours.
CAF has issued strict guidelines that will see games played behind closed doors.
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