Chicken Inn are disappointed they will watch this year’s edition of the Chibuku Super Cup from the sidelines following their one-year ban in the knock-out tournament. The former champions will not be part of the proceedings at this afternoon’s draw in Harare.
The Gamecocks found themselves in trouble after they caused the abandonment of their first round match against Yadah in protest over a late penalty awarded to their opponents.
The then coach, Rahman Gumbo, ordered his players to leave the pitch in protest of the spot kick which was awarded in the 87th minute.
And, according to the tournament’s rules and regulations, the club were found guilty and slapped with a one-year ban and a fine.
Yesterday, coach Joey Antipas, said it was a devastating blow.
The soft-spoken gaffer feels the decision by the PSL Ad-hoc committee was too harsh.
“It is very disappointing to be out of the Chibuku Super Cup. It is the only knock-out tournament we have and every club has expectations to play and do well.
“There is nothing we can do. A fine would have been okay just like CAPS United and Shabanie Mine who escaped with a fine after their match was abandoned.’’
Unlike, Chicken Inn, the Green Machine match was abandoned due to crowd trouble after CAPS United supporters protested after they were denied what would have been an equaliser by referee Thomas Kusosa.
CAPS United were fined and Shabanie Mine progressed to the next round.
“We will have to watch from the sidelines. It is a big blow not to be involved in the Cup and a chance to play in the Confederation Cup should you win.
“But there is nothing we can do at this point,” said Antipas.
While the club’s actions were regrettable and brought the sponsor’s name into disrepute, Antipas believes some of the bad officiating might also have contributed to the mayhem.
“It was a bit unfortunate. Two games in the Chibuku tournament were marred by poor refereeing. If referees had played their part well, this would not also have happened,” said Antipas.
Seventeen club representatives are expected to gather in Harare this afternoon for the initial draw.
Although the format and procedure of the draw will only be revealed at the event, it is highly likely that the league organisers might stick to the format they have used in previous editions.
The likely scenario might be playing the bottoms two teams against each other to eliminate one and remain with 16 clubs.
The top eight teams, usually by a certain cut-off date, are seeded with home advantage and the bottom eight go into hat to be paired with the seeded teams.
Harare City are the Chibuku Super Cup champions.
The Chibuku Super Cup has a prize money of $75 000 plus a ticket to play in the Confederation Cup.