By Alwyn Mabehla
Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Philip Chiyangwa has jumped to the rescue of defending league champions CAPS United in their bid to have their scheduled match against Chicken Inn on Sunday postponed.
Chiyangwa last night told the Daily News that he had instructed the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to have the match postponed to give the country’s sole representatives in the African Safari — CAPS United — adequate time to prepare for Caf Champions league match against Algerian powerhouse USM Alger at the National Sports Stadium next Wednesday.
“We need to be reasonable with the things that we do. Look these guys travelled to Kariba today (yesterday) and lost, and you can’t expect them to be on the road again tomorrow to Bulawayo for another game and play on Wednesday. It doesn’t make sense.
“They need to be physically and psychologically ready but not with this kind of planning. So I have said let’s give them enough rest and time to prepare for their match,” Chiyangwa said.
The Zifa president added that as the mother body of football in the country they have a duty to make decisions that ultimately benefit the game.
“This is a national assignment, and CAPS United are representing the country. We cannot allow people to make senseless decisions. We want CAPS United to do well, so I have said we want them fresh when they face the Algerian team. We don’t want them to be scared when they arrive at the stadium because we haven’t given them enough time to prepare.
“This is not the time to give their coach (Lloyd Chitembwe) headaches with team selection if some of his players get injured. We need to give them the confidence they need.”
CAPS United, who lost 1-2 to ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium in a league encounter yesterday — had complained bitterly over the timing of their match against Chicken Inn — would have had to play two games and travel over 1 700km in just four days by road. And United only expected in Harare this afternoon — and also with the PSL dithering to make decision over the fate of their match against Chicken Inn — without Chiyangwa’s intervention — United would have had only a day to prepare for their African Champions League match.
United are in desperate need of a win to breathe life into their Caf Champions League campaign after losing 2-0 their opening Group B encounter against Egyptian giants Zamalek in Alexandria last Friday. Daily News