By Scoop Reporter
ABSA Bank Zambia PLC and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) have today officially announced the cancellation of the 2020 Absa Cup tournament that was scheduled to take off in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two parties say the tournament will resume next year at dates to be announced.
Absa Bank Zambia PLC Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations, Mato Shimabale says this was arrived at after taking into account the current COVID-19 situation.
Shimabale says after taking into account the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, an amicable decision with FAZ was arrived at to cancel the 2020 tournament.
He says the cancellation is based on the current health concerns and that the decision has been made in the best interest of all stakeholders, particularly, the players and team officials.
“As sponsors of the Absa Cup, we remain committed to sponsoring this tournament in line with our obligation to be a ‘Force for Good’ in the communities we operate. We are fully committed in supporting the growth of Zambian football and the talent that we have among the youth in line with the Bank’s purpose of bringing possibilities to life.
“Our commitment to the game of football remains unwavering and we will explore the option of having an expanded tournament next year. I would like to sincerely thank our partners namely the Sports and Health Ministries, FAZ and SuperSport for their continued support and cooperation in working with the Bank during this sponsorship” Shimabale said.
And FAZ General Secretary, Adrian Kashala says while the association is saddened with the postponement of the tournament to next year owing to the prevailing health crisis in the country, it is happy that partners like Absa have continued to commit to the development of Zambian football, particularly during challenging and unprecedented times.
“While the cancellation of the tournament this year is disappointing to the football fans, there was however no other way under the prevailing Covid-19 crisis that prescribes strict guidelines to stage matches. We look forward to a spectacular tournament next year,” Kashala said.
Absa is also the official African Banking Partner of the English Premier League that will be resuming in September 2020.