Harare derby fatigue

HARARE - With Dynamos and CAPS United clashing for the third time within four weeks, the Harare derby is likely to suffer a bad case of over-exposure according to former DeMbare coach Luke Masomere.

The two teams have already met twice in pre-season matches with United winning the Sino-Zim Cement Challenge Cup 6-5 on penalties.

Last Sunday, DeMbare turned the tables as they beat their bitter rivals 1-0 to win the Bob 91 Super Cup courtesy of a Ronald Chitiyo strike.

This weekend, the two Harare giants go at it again in the semi-final of the Zimbabwe National Army Commander Charities Shield.

The Harare derby is already the country’s most anticipated football fixture but is likely to lose relevance and fizzle out with what has been happening in the last few weeks.

What makes this theory more compelling is that when the 2015 Castle Premiership season kicks off, the two teams are scheduled to clash in Week 4.

“It does not make sense for Dynamos and CAPS to play for the third time within some few weeks, as you know this will not make football exciting,” Masomere told the Daily News yesterday.

“There is no reason why football supporters must watch the Harare derby every week; I always complain on this issue that Zimbabwe football is not all about Dynamos, CAPS and Highlanders.

“You know, our football authorities think they are promoting the game but with what they are doing they are killing it.”

Masomere’s sentiments resonate with Dynamos coach David Mandigora’s surprise after the announcement that they were going to face CAPS again.

“We have been taken by surprise that we are meeting again.

“We thought we would meet some other team not the same opponents. But this is for charity and they are our rivals and we need to give it our best shot as usual,” Mandigora said.

Football fans interviewed by the Daily News yesterday also castigated the move to have Dynamos and CAPS play against each other week in, week out.

“Look, the Harare derby has lost its sparkle, I think this is because we have too many derby matches,” CAPS supporter Onisimo Maponga said.

Another football fan Tendai Twaumba Karimba used social media to vent his frustrations.

“Derby hype is being taken away — playing same teams three times before the league kicks off,” he wrote on Facebook.

Owen Hwingwiri, a staunch Dynamos supporter, said this weekend’s derby has little to offer in terms of quality.

“Players from the two teams now know each other very well, since they play each other every week, so fans must not expect something new on Sunday,” Hwingwiri said.

Masomere also has another sticking point with regards to pre-season tournaments that only see the big three sides Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders taking part.

“When I speak my mind on these issues some people think I am taking it personally, but I am a professional coach. I am allowed to discuss football matters, this is how we can develop the game in our country,” said the How Mine coach.

“The responsible football authorities must do something than let the so-called three big teams participate in all pre-season tournaments — it is totally bad for our football.

“It’s not fair for some clubs to be involved in all pre-season tournaments when there are many clubs in the league. Look, ZPC Kariba finished second (on the log) last season but they are not involved in all these events.

“The ground is not level in Zimbabwe. Those who are in charge must be serious. I think having the same teams playing in all pre-season tournaments will only happen in a country where authorities are not serious with promoting the game of football.”

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