By SPORTS REPORTER
CASH-STRAPPED Zambia under-17 handball team started off the campaign for the Rwanda International Handball Federation (IHF) Continental trophy on a sad note losing 22-36 to Congo DR.
And the Zambian team finally managed to be accommodated at Lycee De Kigali on credit of K92, 400, thanks to the organisers of the tournament.
Zambia led the opening half, as the boys cut Congo DR from the midfield to go to break 15-8. However, Congo returned strong in the second half, punishing the Zambian defence to win the Group A opening game.
Handball Association of Zambia (HAZ) communications manager Josab Changa claimed that Congo DR fielded over-aged players, adding that Zambia will lodge in a complaint to the Confederation of African Handball (CAFH).
“The CAFH has asked Zambia to submit a complaint as regards to the age cheating. These Congolese players are almost 30 though their passports indicate they are 14 years. The age-limit at this event is 17 years, but they are way above that.
The boys played well though we didn’t have any players on the bench as was the case with Congo DR who kept substituting. We carried nine players instead of 11 due to lack of funding,” he said.
He said the team has shifted attention to the do or die match against Kenya tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Changa said the team was accommodated at Lycee De on Tuesday after negotiations with the organisers that HAZ would pay the fees later.
“I thank the organisers of the event for accommodating the team on credit at a cost of K92,400. HAZ now is under pressure to raise money for the borrowed tickets and accommodation,” he said.