Zambia calls off match with South Africa because of xenophobic violence

     A South African cheers prior to the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Egypt and Bafana Bafana earlier this year.

    (CNN)The ugliness of the real world has infiltrated the beautiful game as a football match between Zambia and South Africa was canceled because of a spate of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

    The two former African champions were set to meet in the National Heroes Stadium in the Zambian capital of Lusaka Saturday, but the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has called off the match.
    The decision comes after a series of violent clashes between South Africans and foreign nationals which has resulted in the reported deaths of five people, with 189 people arrested as foreign-owned shops and businesses were ransacked in broad daylight.
      Zambian supporters cheer for their team during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Nigeria and Zambia in 2017.

      Wave of violence

      The violence started last week in Pretoria following the shooting of a local taxi driver, allegedly by a foreign drug dealer.
      On Monday, a pamphlet attributed to a group called the Sisionke Peoples Forum circulated on social media and accused foreigners living in South Africa of stealing jobs and selling drugs.
      In a statement, the FAZ said that the game between the sides known as "Chipolopolo" and "Bafana Bafana" had been scrapped "in view of the prevailing security concerns in South Africa. FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala has relayed the message to the South African Football Association (SAFA) about the decision."