ZIFA has set Tuesday next week as the day for the semi-finals of this year’s Independence Trophy pitting last year’s top four Castle Lager Premiership clubs.
The football governing body’s chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday said champions Dynamos will date Monomotapa in the semi-final in Harare while last year’s runners-up Highlanders will lock horns with Chicken Inn in Bulawayo. The final will be on Independence Day on Thursday.
“We met two weeks ago and on the football side, our programme is that Dynamos will play Monomotapa in Harare while Highlanders will take on Chicken Inn in Bulawayo in the other semi-final on Tuesday next week, with the final being played on Thursday. But since it is a government thing, other details can be obtained from the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC),” Mashingaidze said.
SRC corporate communications officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa yesterday confirmed that they had received Zifa’s proposal and had also sent their budget to the Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry.
“We have submitted our budget to the ministry. Zifa gave us their proposals and we hope that by the end of the week we will have a clear position on how we will be proceeding,” Nheweyembwa said.
Chief executive officer of the league, Kennedy Ndebele, yesterday said they had not received official communication from Zifa on the dates, but acknowledged receipt of the invitation.
“We have not received any communication from Zifa, but as soon as we are informed we will notify the clubs. We are aware of the invitation of the four clubs. Initially we were told that it was going to be Zimbabwe against South Africa for the Independence celebrations, but then after receiving the invitation we had also made our suggestions to Zifa,” Ndebele said.
Last year’s winners FC Platinum will not get the chance to defend the title they won against Motor Action at the National Sports Stadium.
Another tight schedule awaits the four clubs coming from Easter Holiday programmes as Dynamos will play Shabanie tomorrow in a league match at Maglas prior to hosting Triangle at the weekend before going into the Independence tournament.
Bosso will host Motor Action at the weekend while Monomotapa host Black Mambas on Saturday with Chicken Inn resting at the weekend after playing FC Platinum away at Mandava.