Dynamos, FC Platinum clash on

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After three losses on the trot, Dynamos will again take to the field Wednesday afternoon without four key players when they face FC Platinum in a tricky Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Rufaro Stadium.

PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele confirmed the re-arranged fixture yesterday after hours of negotiations.

Dynamos wanted the match played on Thursday, but by 1500hrs on Tuesday, FC Platinum had already left their Zvishavane base for Harare and the league would have incurred extra expenses in accommodating them for an extra day.

FC Platinum chairman Tadson Zhou had earlier said they would follow the dictates of the league after having been informed of the game last week, hence their decision to travel to Harare.

Although the PSL would have agreed to have the game moved to Thursday, it would have impacted negatively on sponsors so early into the season, who would have noticed that, like last season, teams can dictate when they want to play.

While teams cannot play when they have three or more players in a national squad, the decision made by Dynamos to play seems to have been necessitated by the need to raise money for players salaries and allowances.

The match had been set to be played last Thursday, but did not take place as Dynamos only arrived in the country 24 hours earlier from Algeria, where they had gone to take part in the Caf Orange Champions League.

Archford Gutu, Denver Mukamba, Timire Mamvura and Devon Chafa are scheduled to leave with the Under-23 squad for Gaborone for an All-Africa Games second round, first leg qualifier against the Young Zebras on Friday.

Coach Lloyd Mutasa has the right to withdraw the players from the All-Africa Games qualifiers since they are not on the Fifa calendar, but he would obviously be branded unpatriotic and would not want to soil his name.

Week four fixtures that had been set for Saturday and Sunday had also been called off to accommodate two Independence Cup semi-final matches featuring 2010 top four sides.

While Dynamos might have tried to avoid the potential FC Platinum banana skin, they will still have to play Gunners in an Independence Trophy semi-final at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday, while Highlanders take on Motor Action at Barbourfields on the same day.

Said Ndebele yesterday: “There will be no Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches this weekend (April 16/17, 2011).

“Four clubs — Motor Action, Dynamos, Highlanders and Gunners have been invited to participate in the Zimbabwe Independence Trophy.

“The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League will resume on Good Friday April 22. A full Easter weekend programme will be released during the course of the week.”

While Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze could not be reached to confirm the prize money for the competition, it is understood the winners will pocket $10 000 and the losing finalists $7 000 while the third and fourth placed teams will get $5 000 and $3 000 respectively.

Fixtures

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League

Wednesday: Dynamos v FC Platinum (Rufaro)
Independence Trophy

Saturday: Dynamos v Gunners (Rufaro), Highlanders v Motor Action (Barbourfields)