ZIFA have been advised to slow down, in their quest for a special waiver to continue with the Chibuku Super Cup, after the latest bid was turned down by the Sports Commission, this week.
This comes as the country is battling a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Premiership champions, FC Platinum, and Black Rhinos Queens, have also suffered a blow as their requests for special waivers to begin preparations for CAF interclub competitions, were also not successful.
The Chibuku Super Cup has been the rallying point, for the football stakeholders, after the tournament was shelved twice, inside two months due, to the Covid-19 situation, in the country.
ZIFA and the Premier Soccer League believe they have put in place satisfactory measures to mitigate the spread of the disease.
The association recently applied to the Sports Commission, seeking permission, to pave the way for the second round, of the Chibuku Super Cup.
But, SRC acting director general, Sebastian Garikai, informed ZIFA it was still not safe, for football to be played, in this country.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission hereby gives you notice that your application, for permission for the continuation of the Chibuku Super Cup, HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED,” wrote Garikai.
“Please stand advised that this is in light of the continued surge in Covid-19 infections, which have resulted in the extension of the Level 4 lockdown, by another two weeks.
“In the interest of public health, and safety, ALL incoming and outgoing sports tours are, hereby suspended, with immediate effect.
“Your NSA (National Sports Association) is requested to check with the SRC after the 26th of July 2021, in the event of a probable review.
“The SRC will continue to liaise with Government in that regard. Please abide by this suspension, without exception.
“In the meantime, national sports associations are urged to encourage their members to undergo vaccination, particularly those with members, participating at national level.
“All enquiries should be directed to the SRC in writing.”
The Chibuku Super Cup witnessed a 600 percent increase in cases, when the tournament was allowed to resume, last month.
The first round matches, which were played over a month, had recorded only four cases.
But, 24 cases were recorded, within two weeks, of resumption, leading to a fresh ban, on the tournament.
“It is clear that any return to top flight football at this stage can only happen if a full bio-secure bubble environment is implemented, where players and officials reside in controlled environments, for the duration of the tournament,” the SRC said.
“This is the position implemented by cricket and rugby, among other protocols, leading to the various exceptions granted to them, in the present environment.
“Everyone desires a quick return to sport.
“But, the return must be handled in a responsible manner, where objectivity is informed by science, WHO protocols, Government policies and the law, as opposed to calculated emotion.”
The ban on sport has also affected FC Platinum and Black Rhinos Queens, who are keen to begin preparations, for the continental assignments.
FC Platinum are set to represent Zimbabwe in the men’s CAF Champions League, beginning in September, while Rhinos Queens have been set for a regional qualifier, in the women’s version.
“The requests were turned down by the SRC,” said ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela.
Eight teams, from the four CAF zones, will make up the final teams, which will be placed into two groups of four, in the women’s tournament.
Each zone will hold their own qualifiers, with one team proceeding to Egypt.
For the COSAFA zone, the qualifiers will be staged in South Africa, tentatively next month.
The CECAFA Zone qualifiers, which were supposed to get underway in Kenya this weekend, have since been cancelled, due to Covid-19 complications.
The West Africa Football Union Zone B tournament was also postponed to August.