THE BancABC semi-finals will now be played on August 31 and September 1, Premier Soccer League chief executive Kennedy Ndebele confirmed yesterday.
REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI
The final will be played on September 21 at a venue yet to be decided.
FC Platinum will play Monomotapa on the first day, while the Dynamos-Shabanie Mine match will round off the proceedings the following day at Barbourfields Stadium and both matches are expected to be broadcast live by PSL partner Supersport.
The semis were due to be played last weekend, but had to be called off to pave way for the Warriors-Zambia final round, first leg qualifier of the African Nations Championships (Chan) played at Rufaro last Sunday.
The international match had been due a week earlier, but was called off after Cameroon match officials appointed to handle the match missed their flight from Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in the match being pushed to last Sunday.
The Warriors are also set to play their last 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique on September 8 at Rufaro, meaning another week of local action will be lost, although the PSL has maintained that despite the postponements, the league programme would still end on time.
There will be no mid-week league action again, while all weekend PSL matches have also been called off to cater for the Warriors’ return leg against Zambia at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.
“Dynamos and FC Platinum have more than three players in the national team, making it impossible for the semi-finals to go ahead. We have other teams that also have players in the national team and we cannot have any league matches,” Ndabele said.
“There will be no midweek matches next week as well. After the postponement of the semis, we want to make them (semis) a big event and give the teams a week to prepare.”
Dynamos have goalkeeper George Chigova, new signing Oscar Machapa, Patson Jaure and Tawanda Muparati in the Warriors’ camp, while Platinum provide Nelson Maziwisa, Charles Sibanda and Ali Sadiki to the team that will continue preparations for Saturday’s return match against Zambia.
The top-eight competition returned after a one-year hiatus and carries a prize money of $120 000 for the winners. Monomotapa beat Motor Action to reach the last four, Dynamos ousted Buffaloes, Shabanie Mine cruised past Chicken Inn while FC Platinum booted out Highlanders.
Runners up will get $50 000, the losing semi-finalists $20 000 each while the losing quarterfinalists took home $12 000.
Sakunda Petroleum, Topics Stores, LED Travel and Tours, Rockshade and Arenel have partnered the regional banking group in the competition.
The league has run 19 rounds and clubs face a congested finale with 11 more games to be played and the 16-team knockout Mbada Diamonds Cup which is expected to round off the league programme on November 30 — the final day for the registration of teams that will play in the 2014 edition of the Caf Champions League and the Confederation Cup.
Due to inactivity, Highlanders and Caps United have organised a high profile friendly match at Barbourfields Stadium this weekend in a bid to keep the players in shape ahead of the last stretch of the season.
Highlanders though will have to do without Munyaradzi Diya, Masimba Mambare, Bruce Kangwa, Milton Ncube and Peter “Rio” Moyo, who are with the national team, while Caps will be without defender Hardlife Zvirekwi.
“We are playing Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium in a challenge match. We beat them 2-1 in Harare and they said we scored an offside so we want to settle scores,” Caps chief executive Joe Makuvire said, confirming the match yesterday.
Highlanders secretary Andrew Tapela said: “The friendly match against Caps United is in the pipeline. We have to put all the logistics in place.”