|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The FA was contacted by officials in Zimbabwe following the September announcement that Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad would play a friendly in South Africa next May.
Zimbabwe officials offered England the chance to visit the country on their way to Durban.
It was suggested that England could set up a training camp in Harare and play a friendly against Zimbabwe, while the players would also be taken on a sightseeing tour.
With the cloud of political unrest currently hanging over Zimbabwe, it was felt that an England visit would not be deemed appropriate.
England's cricketers are already caught up in a similar moral dillemma ahead of the World Cup, which starts on 10 February.
England are scheduled to face Zimbabwe in Harare in their opening match on 13 February, but have come under pressure to boycott the competition.
But England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tim Lamb, who is likely to recommend to his management board on Tuesday that the team fulfils the fixture, said the two issues could not be compared.
"We spoke to David Davies in the week and he was very keen that the FA should not be seen to be scoring a point over the ECB here," he told the BBC.
"It's much easier to make a decision when another organisation has already gone in and tested the temperature of the water.
"It's a very different scenario, we're talking about a cricket World Cup match instead of just a friendly.
"We've signed a contract and the FA hasn't."
|Sunday, 12 January,
2003, 16:58 GMT
Harare mayor to face charges
The opposition mayor of Zimbabwe's capital Harare, who was arrested on Saturday for holding a political rally without permission, will face court charges this week, police say.
The mayor, Elias Mudzuri, will remain in custody until his court appearance on Monday or Tuesday, according to the authorities.
Mr Mudzuri is also expected to be charged with assault - police say he bit an officer's finger during his arrest.
Opposition leaders, however, contend Mr Mudzuri was "manhandled" by police.
They are now trying to secure the release of the mayor and 20 supporters who were detained at the same time as him.
The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), denies that Saturday's gathering was political. It says the meeting was called to discuss civic matters like waste collection problems.
Mr Mudzuri was elected mayor last March. He has been involved in a power struggle with President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF government ever since.
The government has accused the mayor of incompetence, corruption and insubordination.
On Wednesday, four opposition supporters were arrested for demonstrating against moves by President Mugabe's administration to appoint governors to run the opposition-held cities of Harare and Bulawayo.
The government says the new governors will not interfere with the mayors, but the MDC sees the move as a drive against its growing power.