Uhuru Cup farce

HARARE - Zimbabwe's poor service delivery problems came to the fore when the Uhuru Cup final between Dynamos and FC Platinum was abandoned after a power shortage at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

With DeMbare leading 1-0 courtesy of Ronald Chitiyo’s 15th minute strike, referee Pedzisai Chadya had no choice but to stop the match after 64 minutes.

The game was the closing act of the country’s main Independence celebrations as yesterday marked 35 years since majority rule was attained in 1980.

Visibility had been reduced as it was getting dark and surprisingly the venue’s floodlights did not light up.

Earlier on in the day, the floodlights had been switched on for a few minutes during the proceedings and they were in perfect working condition.

The country has been experiencing chronic power outages in the last few years as the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) struggles to deal with demand side management.

Local industries and households end up using costly diesel generators to keep operations running as there is no end in sight for the load-shedding.

ZPC produces 1 190 megawatts of electricity compared with peak demand of 2 200 megawatts.

The power company recently announced that for it to meet the power demand it needed at least $5 billion to fund new and renovate existing power generating projects.

The match fell under the jurisdiction of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and indications last night was that a decision would be reached today on the way forward.

Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said: “It’s an unfortunate scenario and these things happen in football. It’s basically force majeure, an unforeseen incident.

“I’m sure a decision would be made tomorrow (today) to see what can be done to make sure this match is concluded and there is a result.”

What is likely to happen is that the match will have to be rescheduled to a later date and both teams will play out the remaining 26 minutes.

In December 2004, there was a bomb scare at the Santiago Bernabeu during the 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.

Madrid won the match 2-1 after they were awarded a penalty in those remaining six minutes which was converted by Zinedine Zidane.

Only last week, Uefa ordered a replay of the final seconds of an Under-19 Women’s European Championship qualifier between England and Norway starting with a penalty.

Uefa’s disciplinary body ruled that the match should be replayed including a retake of a disallowed England penalty.  

This is what is likely to happen to the DeMbare-Platinum tie but it will also present a headache to the Premier Soccer League.

Due to their participation in the African Confederation Cup, the platinum miners’ schedule is already behind with one game and they were scheduled to take on Harare City this Wednesday in Zvishavane.

Turning to the match yesterday, against the run of play Dynamos opened the scoring after Chitiyo capitalised on a defensive mix-up in the Platinum backline to score with a well-taken shot from a tight angle.

The match started with FC Platinum on top of the situation but they failed to turn their dominance into goals.

Norman Mapeza’s men could have scored when Dynamos defender Elisha Muroyiwa played a mistimed back pass to goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva.

Muroyiwa was bailed out by his alert goalkeeper.

Platinum were duly punished by Chitiyo and the Glamour Boys took control of the game after taking the lead before the power shortage halted the match.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.