Zambia FA Youth Coordinator Lee Kawanu confirmed the story saying his organisation failed to get positive response from neighbouring countries for tune up matches on the dates it proposed to them.
“We could not get positive response from any of our neighbours for the dates we proposed,”Kawanu was quoted by The Post Online Tuesday.
The junior African soccer showpiece that will be held in Niger from February 15 to March 1 and Zambia team is expected to leave for the tournament Tuesday next week.
Following the latest development the team will instead play the Under-23 side to wrap up its preparations.
“We leave on Tuesday, playing a high intensity friendly three days before departure would be risky in terms of injuries. We will have another practice with the under-23,”said Kawanu.
The latest development is a serious setback for the country’s soccer fraternity that is reeling from early exit from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) tournament currently hosted by Equatorial Guinea.
The team only tune up game was against the Under-20 side last week which it won by a goal to nil.
The under 20 is also in camp preparing for Under -20 Youth Championship tournament that will take place in Senegal from March 8 to 22.
The Junior Chipolopolo Under-17 team has been placed in a group A along with Nigeria, Guinea and hosts Niger.
The four top teams that will emerge at the Uner-17 Niger tournament will qualify for FIFA World Cup that will be held in Chile from October 17 to November 8.