By Eddie Chikamhi
Giants Dynamos and CAPS United will have to wait for another day before they can meet in the Castle Lager Premiership after the Harare Derby, which had been slotted for this Sunday, was postponed for the second time.
The league authorities, who had hoped to take advantage of the fixture-break to clear a backlog, were forced to cancel the match after the clubs contributed three players each to the national team to play Namibia in an Africa Nations Championship qualifier at the weekend.
Dynamos and CAPS United were initially supposed to meet two months ago. The unavailability of six players selected for the CHAN tournament has made it impossible for the Harare Derby to be played on Sunday.
Apart from coach Lloyd Mutasa, hosts Dynamos have skipper Ocean Mushure, his assistant Obey Mwerahari and Emmanuel Mandiranga in the CHAN squad.
The Green Machine also have three players — Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo, Moses Muchenje and Abbas Amidu — in Sunday Chidzambwa’s squad. PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare yesterday said the match was called off as the rules and regulations stipulate that a club is not obliged to play a league match if they have more than three players on national team duty.
“The Premier Soccer League has postponed the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Dynamos and CAPS United scheduled for Sunday 16 July, 2017.
“This has been necessitated by the involvement of the players from the two clubs in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament. The match will be rescheduled to a later date,” said Bare.
DeMbare president Kenny Mubaiwa said they had no choice, but to have the game moved. The postponement could be a blessing for DeMbare following reports of disturbances in their dressing room this week.
The Harare giants have gone for eight matches unbeaten after winning six and drawing two of their previous matches. But the players are owed part of their salaries and bonuses.
Despite the concerns, Dynamos players trained at Motor Action Sports Club yesterday. “For all I know is that we have been having regular meetings with the players updating them on the issue of the money and when they will get it,’’ said Mubaiwa.
“We are making frantic efforts, but I am sure everyone knows the situation in our country. “At our last meeting on Thursday we had an agreement that is binding for the whole month. So to hear that there is strike, I don’t know where that is coming from.’’
However, the league will still press ahead with the efforts to clear CAPS United’s backlog with midweek fixtures against How Mine and Bulawayo City next week.
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe said his team has the qualities to compete for honours. “It’s a very important period for us in the sense that we are playing catch-up. We have already tasted good things and the boys want to continue, this is for sure, and I am sure trying to balance up between the Champions League and the domestic was becoming a bit difficult for us,” he said.
“I want to believe this will give us ample time to also focus on the league and we believe the league has to be given so much priority and focus on winning it again.
“So this is the focus for now.” The Herald