HomeSportSoccerDynamos back in Champions League

Dynamos back in Champions League

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Dynamos will return to the Orange Caf Champions League next season after confirming their participation on Tuesday night as Zifa rushed to meet the deadline set by the continental soccer governing body.

They will be joined by current Premier Soccer League (PSL) leaders and debutantes Motor Action while, by Tuesday night, PSL acting chief executive Kenny Ndebele was in discussions with third-placed Highlanders and 2009 champions Gunners to fill the two slots in the Confederations Cup.

Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said last night: “Motor Action and Dynamos are confirmed for the Champions League but the PSL is negotiating with two other clubs for the Confederations Cup. I am hopeful that we will be able to send the details to Caf tonight (Tuesday night) to meet the deadlines.”

Dynamos were knocked out of the Champions League mini-league phase this year after falling 2-1 to eventual champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a match where the Zimbabwe giants received $50 000 after the loss.

The Harare giants’ secretary- general Oliver Manyau said they would embark on a fund-raising drive to raise funding for the trips.

“We have confirmed our participation in Africa. In terms of finances, we will do fundraising activities to get us through the group stages to the mini-league. Once you are in the mini-league it becomes even easier. We aim to do better than last time.”

The Mighty Bulls would be making their debut in Africa and have already said they would engage government to finance their participation in the competition.

Highlanders, on the other hand, have been struggling to meet player salaries and bonuses as they battled to clear off debts incurred during their participation in the Confederations Cup in 2008.

They also had a case against former coach, Egyptian Mohammed Fathi, which was only concluded last week.

Highlanders chairman, Themba Ndlela, last night said they had only received a note from the PSL asking if they are available to participate, but with the Bulawayo giants executive yet to meet over the issue, there is no chance they will enter the competition.

Should Zifa fail to enter four teams in Africa, Caf might reduce the slots for the country in 2012.

Ndlela said: “We have to consult widely and debate whether we really need to participate. We received a note from the PSL yesterday (Monday) but I only saw it today (Tuesday. We will give them our official position after consultations.”

Gunners took part in the Champions League this year and had said they would want to return to Africa as they have unfinished business.

A source at Gunners said on Tuesday night: “We have not discussed that as a club. The major difficulty is finance, you cannot go it alone unless the government comes in. The league has no sponsor, teams fail to travel just across Zimbabwe for league matches and we talk about Africa, that’s difficult.”

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