THE Zifa Unity Cup between Highlanders and Dynamos scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow is a major doubt, with the former saying they have already released their players for the off-season.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The two giants had initially been set to meet in the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Legacy Shield over two legs last weekend, but the matches had to be called off for similar reasons.
Highlanders chairperson, Peter Dube yesterday said they have already released their players for the festive season and had no capacity to raise a competitive side for the game.
Bosso stand-in coach, Amini Soma-Phiri, who guided the team to Easycall Cup glory last week, is travelling to South Africa for an attachment with a First National Division side, Moroka Swallows.
“We received communication from Zifa on Thursday when I had just arrived from South Africa. Our office closed for business on Friday, so it is so difficult to make logistics for the players to be available,” Dube said.
“It is not that we don’t want to play, but after we won the Easycall Cup, we released our players for the holiday. Some are in the rural areas and others are travelling elsewhere. We are in a dilemma. We don’t have the players. You might also have read from the Press that the coach is travelling to South Africa. What it then means is that if we are to participate, we will have to gather players from here and there.”
Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela, confirmed the match is in doubt after their bid to persuade league champions Chicken Inn to stand in, hit a brickwall.
“I have spoken to Highlanders and they are saying they have no capacity to assemble a team. We tried Chicken Inn and they have the same problem. Our idea was to celebrate Unity Day through football and the sponsors wanted Highlanders and Dynamos. We have to get back to the sponsor to find out what can be done. We will issue a statement tomorrow (today),” he said.
Dynamos, on the other hand, are still to break camp for the festive season. They had consented taking part in the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Legacy Shield and the club’s president Keni Mubaiwa yesterday confirmed their willingness to participate in tomorrow’s match.
“We are going to Bulawayo tomorrow (today). We will sleep there and play Highlanders in the Zifa Unity Cup on Tuesday,” Mubaiwa said.
Highlanders and Dynamos were initially supposed to meet in the Joshua Mqabuka Legacy Shield over two legs, with the first match on Thursday at Rufaro Stadium before the return match tomorrow, on Unity day, at Barbourfields.
Winners of the Zifa Unity Cup will take home $20 000 and losers $15 000.