By Blessing Malinganiza
Barring politics, Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa will NOT field Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa Ntouba in the Harare derby against CAPS United following his red card on Sunday.
Ntouba was red carded in the 1-1 draw with Highlanders at Rufaro and is supposed to serve a two-match suspension.
However, Zifa on Monday released a statement nullifying the ban. Yesterday the Premier Soccer League seemed to overturn that decision on the basis that Dynamos did not follow proper procedures for appeal. But with Zifa being the authority in local football, they will win the politics at the end of the day and further plunge the top flight league into turmoil.
It has since emerged that Mutasa believes the Ntouba saga is not necessary in a campaign they have worked so hard to be in the title race despite the many challenges they have faced from lack of quality players to financial woes.
And to have such a campaign overshadowed by the Ntouba red card drama is something Mutasa and his colleagues on the technical bench are not comfortable with.
Mutasa himself conceded that Ntouba lost it by retaliating against the numerous fouls on him by Highlanders and the head but is too serious a football offence to even think of lodging a protest against his dismissal.
And to keep the Dynamos campaign clean, Mutasa will NOT field Ntouba for two games even if the Zifa decision makes him eligible to feature, starting this Sunday against CAPS United at Rufaro. The match comes two weeks after his brace secured a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium.
Yesterday PSL said Dynamos had also not written to them to protest in accordance with order 30 of the PSL constitution. DeMbare wrote directly to Zifa.
“The Premier Soccer League has not received a protest letter from Dynamos or communication from Zimbabwe Football Association regarding the expulsion of the Dynamos FC player during a Castle Lager PSL match between Dynamos and Highlanders FC at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday 10 September 2017,” said PSL in a statement.
PSL said they only received an official report from the referee Arnold Ncube.
Mutasa’s charges, who will be suffering from suspensions, could welcome back defenders Marshal Machazane and Obey Mwerahari.
Machazane is optimistic ahead Sundays return leg against CAPS United at Rufaro Stadium.
“We are well prepared, you don’t have to be told how prepared we are because it’s one of the most important matches.
“The team is prepared but you know how it is with games. Each game is different because there are different challenges. Take for instance the Highlanders game we wanted to win but things didn’t go as planned.
“We just needed to be consistent in every game and taking each game as it comes because there is Chicken Inn, Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum who are in the race with us,” he said.
He added that he is now fully recovered.
“Coming from an injury, I am now 100 percent fit and I am looking forward to play and hope that I play on Sunday since I did not play in the first leg.
“I need to make sure that I do my part well in the team in making sure that I deliver,” he said.
He added: “From the first league I learnt that when you create chances you have to utilise them so that you won’t regret.
“I also learned that one must be fully focused and avoid any mistakes that will cost the team so that you can win the game,” says Machazane. H Metro