MONOMOTAPA will not play in the 2013 Caf Confederation Cup, the club confirmed yesterday.
REPORT BY HENRY MHARA, SPORTS REPORTER
This leaves Dynamos as the only representative in Africa next year in the Champions League following the decision by Highlanders — already facing confirmation of a ban — and Chicken Inn not to participate.
Zimbabwe had been afforded four slots by Caf this year, two in the Caf Champions League and the other two in the Caf Confederation Cup, but yesterday’s developments only spell doom for local football.
Dynamos, bankrolled by BancABC, confirmed their Caf Champions League participation status last week, ahead of last Friday’s registration deadline.
Yesterday, Monomotapa pulled out of the continent’s second-tier competition citing financial difficulties.
The 2008 league champions had delayed confirming their pull-out hoping that Mbada Diamonds — through their $150 000 subsidy — would bankroll their African campaign as was the case with Motor Action this season.
“Monoz”, through Zifa, had asked for an extension from Caf to confirm their status and the continental mother body had given them until 4:30pm yesterday.
Mbada Diamonds was by yesterday, still insisting that the subsidy would go to Dynamos, leaving Monoz with no choice.
“Our position was very clear from the start that we could only compete in the Confederations Cup if Mbada Diamonds gave us the $150 000. I spoke to the PSL (Premier Soccer League) today (yesterday) and they told me that they were waiting for Mbada to have a meeting with BancABC, but time is not on our side,” said Monoz boss Joseph Mukoki yesterday.
Monoz guaranteed themselves a slot after finishing runners-up to Dynamos in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
“It’s very sad for our football because it seems all the sponsors are stampeding to sponsor one big club. How are the other small clubs supposed to grow then? The last time we played in Africa we did extremely well and we were hoping the sponsors would take notice of that,” added Mukoki.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday said he had already written to Caf explaining Monoz’s situation.
“We had, on behalf of Monomotapa Football Club, requested for an extension from Caf and they had given us until 4:30pm today (yesterday). But it seems the set-up has not improved and I have already alerted Caf on the current situation. It’s very unfortunate that Dynamos will be the only club representing the country next year,” Mashingaidze said yesterday.
“Caf should do something in terms of sponsorship for these competitions because they are turning out to be a preserve for the well-resourced clubs like TP Mazembe and Espérance.
“But us, as an association and the clubs, we should also look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves if we have done the right thing. We should re-engage the corporate world and find a proper sponsorship model, not ad-hoc intervention system we have been relying on in the past. These ‘donations’ kind of sponsorship will not get us anywhere,” Mashingaidze added.
The latest development is likely to cost Zimbabwe the slots in the continental club competitions.
In the past, the country has had two slots, one in the Confederation Cup and another one in the Champions League, but the number was increased following good performances by Zimbabwean teams in the competitions, particularly Dynamos and Monomotapa.