THE Zifa-organised Heroes Day celebrations match pitting Dynamos against Highlanders set for Monday is in trouble, with Bosso having already scheduled another match against the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Select the following day.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Zifa ordered the postponement of all top-flight league matches that should have been played between today and tomorrow to pave way for 31 matches featuring Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams and Division One sides.
But the biggest match of the lot featuring the two arch-rivals may not take place, considering Highlanders’ commitment to the ZDF Trophy.
Unlike the hastily organised Zifa match, Highlanders are set to reap rewards, as a $9 000 winners’ prize has been dangled.
Zifa has not said anything about rewarding teams for the Heroes’ Day celebrations matches and neither have they committed to paying the expenses related to their staging.
Highlanders were due to meet late yesterday to discuss the logistics of taking part in the Heroes’ Day celebrations.
The Bulawayo giants were set to consider if they could take part in both matches, but the players may suffer from fatigue, having travelled to Kariba for a league match against ZPC Kariba midweek.
Highlanders acting chairman, Modern Ngwenya yesterday said they knew about the ZDF Trophy, which they had been invited for.
“We have been invited to play in the ZDF Trophy, where we are playing the ZDF Select on Tuesday at the National Sport Stadium,” he said.
“This one is well-organised as we have been sorted on travelling and accommodation and the winners take home $9 000 and the losers $7 000.
“Now we have to travel to Harare to play Dynamos on Monday before the ZDF Select on Tuesday. I don’t know if there has been any correspondence at the office, but we need to sit down as an executive committee later to discuss the logistics of playing the two matches.”
Highlanders’ developmental side, Bosso 90, have a Southern Region Soccer League match in Victoria Falls today and are expected to be in Tsholotsho for a Heroes’ Day celebrations match against Tsholotsho on Monday.
Zifa defended the decision to stage the matches at the expense of the normal league programmes, saying they decided that this year they should celebrate the event with football across the country.
“Football remains one of the most effective social vehicles through which messages of hope, unity and solidarity have been spread across the globe with great effect,” part of a Zifa statement said.
“In that regard, this year, we have seen it fit to celebrate the valiant and invaluable sacrifices of all the fallen and living soldiers during the war of liberation from colonial rule by staging football matches to mark Heroes Day.”