Highlanders await Caf decision

Nigel Matongorere

HIGHLANDERS are hoping for a favourable outcome when the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Bureau of Interclubs Committee meets this weekend to determine their fate.

The Bulawayo giants are currently serving a three-year ban imposed by Caf after they pulled out of the Caf Confederations Cup last year.

Zifa took the flak for Bosso’s suspension after the federation entered the club for the competition without the club’s knowledge.

Caf subsequently banned the country’s oldest football club for three years and this means Bosso cannot take part in the African Champions League or Confed Cup.

The club however, appealed against the sentence and the Caf Interclubs Committee will hear the case on Sunday.

Highlanders chairperson Peter Dube told the Daily News yesterday that the club is optimistic for a favourable ruling this weekend.

“We can only lobby for the lifting of the ban which should have never been placed in the first place considering the circumstances,” Dube said.

“We are hoping for a positive outcome because we know we are innocent, we were caught up in this situation because of something that happened and was beyond our control. There is no point in going back and pointing fingers at each other, it is all in the past. For now, we just hope enough lobbying was done for the ban to be lifted.”

The ban has already restricted Highlanders from entering the 2013 African Champions League after finishing in second place behind Dynamos in the just-ended season.

Zimbabwe has two slots for the Champions League and one has already been taken up by DeMbare while the Bulawayo giants can only look from a distance.

The deadline to register clubs for Caf club competitions passed on November 30 with Zifa only registering Dynamos.

Zifa had been granted a late deadline of December 4 to register Monomotapa for the Confed Cup in the event that they had secured funding for the campaign.

The 2012 Mbada Diamonds Cup runners-up were however, not able to secure funds to bankroll their continental campaign.   

In the event that the Bureau of Interclubes Committee grants Highlanders a reprieve, Dube said they will only be able to resume playing in the African safari in 2014.

“As things stand we have already made our plans for the next season and it will be impossible to play in Africa next year even if Caf were to grant us a late entry,” said the Highlanders boss.

“It’s a mammoth task to participate in Africa and it’s not a decision that one club official can make, it will need the entire executive and our sponsors to sit down and discuss.

“When we embark on domestic competitions, the aim is to do well and go to compete in top competitions like the African Champions League. But in this case, the time is too short between now and next year for us to prepare to launch a successful campaign in the Champions League.”

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