CASH-strapped Dynamos’ dream of hosting the first instalment of the Harare derby on Sunday, where they were hoping to cash-in on gate-takings to help pay outstanding salaries for players, was shattered yesterday after the Premier Soccer League (PSL) officially postponed the fixture, owing to the unavailability of a suitable venue.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Rufaro Stadium, Dynamos’ home ground, is closed for renovations, while the National Sports Stadium has been booked by Nigerian pastor, Chris Oyakhilome for his church service on Sunday.
Dynamos had been hoping the city council would have completed the refurbishments at Rufaro, but it emerged yesterday, they won’t be able to do so.
And the top-flight league management said in a statement yesterday, they had taken the decision to postpone the match due to the unavailability of a suitable venue.
“The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixture between Dynamos and Caps United scheduled for May 7, 2017 has been postponed due to the unavailability of a venue to host the match. The National Sports Stadium has been booked for a church event, while the City of Harare is still to complete work on Rufaro Stadium. The new date will be announced in due course.”
Dynamos are facing cashflow problems and owe players and staff salaries and allowances. They found themselves in this situation after their principal sponsors, BancABC, revised their sponsorship package this year due to the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
This meant, the Glamour Boys would have to foot part of the bill. And after having played five of their league matches of the campaign so far, including two away trips to Triangle and Hwange, the club has been drained financially and were hoping to ease the situation through money generated from the gate-takings between the two most popular teams in the capital.
Those hopes, however, were dashed after Harare City Council, whom they had banked on to have completed the refurbishment of Rufaro, failed to do so.
With Dynamos, who lost to Caps United in a league match last term, only managing to secure a draw in a six-goal thriller in their last league meeting, having shown much promise following a rebuilding exercise under the guidance of Lloyd Mutasa, sparks were certain to fly, had the match gone ahead.
This is particularly so after Dynamos overcame their rivals in the Independence Cup semi-final, which they went on to win at the expense of Bulawayo giants, Highlanders.
So the burning issue of supremacy between the two sides remains unsettled.
However, there are other league matches lined up elsewhere at the weekend, with championship contenders FC Platinum in the spotlight once again, as they face Hwange at Maglas on Sunday.
Norman Mapeza’s men were held to a 0-0 draw by Premiership returnees, Black Rhinos on Tuesday and are looking to gain ground after a slow start to the season.
Taurai Mangwiro’s Triangle host in-form Black Rhinos, who have had an explosive start to the campaign and are in second place on the league table with 10 points, two shy of log leaders, Highlanders.
Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho FC v Harare City (Dulivhadzimu), Ngezi Platinum v Shabanie Mine (Baobab), Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot), Bantu Rovers v Yadah (Luveve)
Sunday: Chicken Inn v How Mine (Luveve), FC Platinum v Hwange (Maglas), Triangle v Black Rhinos (Gibbo)