The Zambian FA has reiterated its intentions to compete in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations if Zimbabwe is banned by Fifa before the tournament begins on Sunday.

Fifa warned last month that unless the elected FA restored control of the sport from a government-appointed body by 3 January, a suspension “may have to be imposed on Zimbabwe.”

Due to Zambia finishing second in their Nations Cup qualifying group behind Zimbabwe, they are theoretically in position to compete in the finals.

“We have followed keenly the development in Zimbabwe and have always remained open to being part of the Nations Cup if Zimbabwe is banned,” Sidney Mungala, the Zambian FA’s media officer, told BBC Sport Africa.

“Given the length of the time before the tournament kicks off, we would have hoped that this matter would have been resolved by now.”

Zambia, the 2012 winners, lost out on qualifying for the Nations Cup by a single point, placing third behind Zimbabwe in a qualification group headed by reigning champions Algeria.

Any team that withdraws “after qualifying for the competition, before it  commences, must be replaced by the team classified next in the group,” according to Nations Cup rules.

The Fifa deadline of 3 January for the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), the government-appointed organization charged with developing Zimbabwean sport, to give over responsibility to Zifa has passed without a response.

Fifa has already excluded nations from all forms of football as a result of governmental meddling in the management of member associations.