With just two days to the commencement of the 2019 COSAFA Championship in Durban, South Africa, three-time winners, Angola have disengaged themselves from the tournament according to www.supersport.com.
The Palancas Negras are the second team to withdraw from the tournament after Madagascar throwing the competition into disarray.
The short notice has placed COSAFA Cup organizers in an impossible situation with no time left to bring in a replacement before kickoff in Durban.
“Despite canvassing far and wide across the continent for a replacement, the timeframe simply did not allow for a new participant,” a statement from the South African publication read.
Three time winners Angola have missed two COSAFA tournaments in the past, the first one in 1997 and also four years ago. The two withdrawals mean only 13 countries will be taking part.
A number of teams have opted not use the tournament to give emerging players playing time, Zambia have named a B team, and South Africa will use the U23 team.
Defending champions, Zimbabwe will use their senior team in hopes of retaining the trophy as well as preparing for the AFCON is concerned.
South Africa, Zambia, Zimbawe, Lesotho and Botswana will start the competition at the quarter finals stage.
Zambia will wait for the winner in Group B, South Africa will play Botswana while Zimbabwe will also wait for the winner of Group A.
Uganda who are appearing at the tournament as host will start their campaign with a date against Lesotho.
Group A: Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Mauritius
Group B: Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles