BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
DYNAMOS captain Edward Sadomba has been ruled out of today’s must-win Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) tie against Herentals at Rufaro due to suspension.
He was also forced to withdraw from the squad for the Independence Trophy final against Highlanders on Thursday for similar reasons.
The veteran forward was sent off in their 2-0 defeat to Bulawayo side Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie a week ago for picking two yellow cards.
Consequently, Sadomba is supposed to serve one match suspension.
He was forced to withdraw from the team on Thursday during warm up by match officials who told Dynamos that the striker was not eligible for the match because of suspension, insisting the Independence Trophy final was a Premier Soccer League (PSL) sanctioned match.
The decision infuriated Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe, who partly blamed the loss to the omission of his influential captain.
“Only on the eleventh hour, we were advised that the captain cannot play. Remember he is barred by the PSL from playing on Monday, and was barred by Zifa from playing today because of suspension. (But) if he missed today’s match, he should be able to play on Monday. It’s such kind of double standards that I fail to understand.”
But the PSL has disowned the Independence Cup match, and insisted that Sadomba is still suspended and will serve his one match ban today.
“Let me make it clear that the Independence Trophy match has nothing to do with the PSL. It’s a Zifa thing. We got a request to have the two teams play in the Independence Trophy final and we allowed them to take part in the match, but that does not mean it is a PSL match. So according to PSL Sadomba hasn’t served
his suspension,” said PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare.
This decision by the PSL deals a huge blow to Dynamos whose expectations were that their influential captain would play a part in today’s match.
The Glamour Boys desperately need a win against Herentals to breathe life into a campaign that appears to be going off the rail.
Chigowe’s men have had a slow start to the campaign in which they won their opening match against Premiership debutantes Mushowani Stars whom they overcame 2-0 a result that appeared to point to a brighter season for them this time around, having only escaped relegation at the tail end of the campaign.
However, two consecutive defeats to Hwange (1-2) and Chicken (0-2) that followed have been a cause for concern.
The results have piled more pressure on Chigowe, who is desperate to prove he is the right man for the job.
Apart from the absence of Sadomba, there are also doubts over the availability of Cameroonian import Ngahan Claude Junior nicknamed Neymar who is struggling with an ankle injury.
With tricky fixtures against TelOne (away), ZPC Kariba (home), Yadah Stars (away) and Bulawayo Chiefs (away) up next, the Harare giants have to start winning, especially at home against teams like Herentals.
Fixtures today: Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds v Mushowani (Gibbo), Highlanders v Triangle (Barbourfields).