Its D-day today as the Dynamos executive meets to reach a decision on whether to take part in the prestigious Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League or the less glamorous Confederation Cup.
The decisive meeting had initially been slated for yesterday before it was moved to today. Dynamos have to arrive at a decision on which tournament to participate in ahead of tomorrow’s Caf deadline.
League runners-up FC Platinum will play in the Champions League while Motor Action have said “No” to Africa this year, paving the way for fourth-placed Hwange to come as replacements.
Dynamos capped off a memorable season after beating Motor Action 1-0 in the final on Sunday to add the Mbada Diamonds Cup to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.
To add to the $70 000 prize money for lifting the coveted title, Dynamos are guaranteed financial assistance of $150 000 by the sponsors should they take part in the Confederation Cup.
However, while it would have been expected it was all celebrations in the DeMbare camp, it has been a different case for the team’s executive.
Club chairman Kenny Mubaiwa and the rest of the Dynamos executive find themselves between a rock and a hard place as the sponsors had stated — prior to the tournament — that the financial assistance was not transferable to the Champions League.
Dynamos secretary-general Nyika Chifamba confirmed today’s meeting in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“The meeting was supposed to take place today (yesterday), but we have moved it to tomorrow (today). After the meeting we will be able to announce to the nation the final position we would have taken.
“We find ourselves in a very tricky situation. There are no two ways about it, but we have to sit down as an executive and reach an agreement which is in the best interests of the club as a whole.
We have made it clear we would have preferred to take part in the Champions League. We at the same time want to avoid what has happened in the past,” said Chifamba.
Dynamos were given a lifeline yesterday as the PSL’s management board was also expected to meet with the Mbada Diamonds officials today after which it would become clear if the latter would budge from their initial position.
The Harare giants also have a two-and-a-half year sponsorship deal with BancABC where the financial institution caters’ for the player’s salaries, training kits among other materials.
However, informed sources closer to the two parties indicated the financial institution had indicated it would not be sponsoring DeMbare’s Champions League campaign.
Dynamos are also said to have asked the PSL to have the league sponsors Delta Beverages — through their Castle Lager brand — to sponsor the Harare giants’ Champions League campaign — a request which has also yielded nothing.
Mubaiwa told NewsDay Sport last week that should they fail to find a sponsor, the 1998 Champions League runners-up and 2008 semi-finalists, would opt for the Confederation Cup where there is sponsorship.
“Obviously our number one choice would be the Champions League, but our coffers are empty and we urgently need to find a company to sponsor us before the deadline.
“We find ourselves in a situation where if we fail to find a sponsor to support us for our Champions League campaign we will have no choice, but to opt for the Confederation Cup where we will automatically have sponsorship,” Mubaiwa categorically stated.
Dynamos have experienced difficulties in their previous Champions League campaigns.
Their most difficult season was in 2008 when they defied all odds to reach the semi-finals despite the hyper-inflationary environment and foreign currency shortages the country was facing.
This year they missed out on a place in the group stage for the first time in their history in the competition after losing on away goals to MC Alger of Algeria in a tie that ended 4-4 on aggregate.