Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Decision on Uhuru final delayed

By Godknows Matarutse

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has dithered in coming up with a solution to the abandoned Uhuru Cup final between Dynamos and FC Platinum.

The Uhuru Cup final between Dynamos and FC Platinum had to be abandoned after the lights went off (Picture by the Standard)
The Uhuru Cup final between Dynamos and FC Platinum had to be abandoned after the lights went off (Picture by the Standard)

Saturday’s final was stopped after 65 minutes with DeMbare leading 1-0 courtesy of Ronald Chitiyo’s 15th minute strike at the National Sports Stadium.

There was an electricity blackout at the venue and the floodlights which had been in perfect working condition earlier in the day failed to switch on.

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Referee Pedzisayi Chadya had no choice but to stop the match as visibility had been reduced to almost zero.

The match was under the jurisdiction of Zifa since it was part of Zimbabwe’s 35th Independence Day celebrations at the venue.

It was a embarrassing episode for the game and the country’s power utility given the nature of the grand occasion with many dignitaries in attendance.

Zifa, who had initially said they would come up with a way forward yesterday, said they were now waiting to meet the Sports and recreation Commission today to come up with a decision.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said: “Zifa alone cannot decide on such a sensitive issue, therefore we will wait till after the meeting with the SRC whereupon a binding decision concerning the way forward will surely be established.

“We deeply regret the unexpected disturbance on such a significant day in the history of the country but we accept that such problems can happen hence we have to move forward by finding the fairest of solutions to the situation at hand.

“We also appeal to the participants, FC Platinum and Dynamos as well as the thousands of supporters who were at the match venue to bear with us for all the inconveniences caused.”

In normal circumstances if bad lighting was responsible for the abandonment of a match, the match must be completed within 48 hours with the same personnel as were on the field at the time.

But by the time the Zifa-SRC meeting ends, it will be more than 48 hours and it is going to be interesting to see what kind of decision will come out of that discussion.

Also of interest will be whether the two teams will restart the match at 0-0 and play the entire 90 minutes or they will just play the remaining 25 minutes.

There is enough precedence to consider when dealing with such matters.

In December 2004, there was a bomb scare at the Santiago Bernabeu during a Real Madrid match against Real Sociadad with six minutes still to play — two minutes and 40 seconds of normal time and four minutes of injury time. The score was 1-1 at the time.

The two teams returned to the Bernabeu on January 6, 2005 to complete the remaining six minutes.

Already, FC Platinum have a jam-packed calendar due to their participation in the African Confederation Cup. The platinum miners schedule is already behind with one game and they are scheduled to make up that deficit when they play Harare City this Wednesday at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane.

A re-arranged fixture with Dynamos to conclude the Uhuru final will now present the league with a headache. Daily News