Zambia cancels friendly with South Africa over security situation

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South Africa’s players huddle during a training session at the Steyn City School in Fourways. COURTESY: TWITTER/Bafana Bafana

Zambia canceled its international friendly against South Africa due to be played on Saturday at the National Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka due to the current security situation in South Africa.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) said that the General Secretary of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Adrian Kashala had relayed the message to it.

“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) regrets to inform members of the public that the international friendly match between Zambia and South Africa that was scheduled for National Heroes Stadium on Saturday, 7 September 2019 has been called off in view of the prevailing security concerns in South Africa,” a statement from the (FAZ) read in part.

South Africa is currently experiencing a wave of xenophobic attacks after violence and looting of shops owned by foreigners began last week in Tshwane.

It then spread after at least three people were killed following the collapse of an old building in Johannesburg. Shops were also reportedly burnt in Marabastad, a business area made up predominantly of economic migrants.

The Zambian government has expressed its concern over the situation in South Africa and requested all of its citizens using the route to and from South Africa to suspend their trips indefinitely.

A group of citizens in Zambia also plans to protest at the South African Embassy in Lusaka to express their dissatisfaction with South Africa’s government for the behaviour of its citizens and what it terms as the government’s complacent approach to the situation.

The SAFA on Tuesday said it was in talks with a member of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) which had shown interest in playing in place of Zambia.

On Wednesday morning, the SAFA announced that Bafana Bafana will play against Madagascar at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday to replace the canceled fixture.

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