Shutdown KOs PSL matches

HARARE - Zimbabwe's general strike — dubbed the shutdown — has for the second time in a week led to the cancellation of premiership matches scheduled for Bulawayo after police raised fears of potential trouble following disturbances which rocked the city on Wednesday.

The league has postponed two matches — Tsholotsho v Mutare City Rovers and Highlanders v Triangle, two days after the high profile tie involving defending champions Chicken Inn and FC Platinum was cancelled on Wednesday, a few hours before kick-off.

The cancellation followed clashes between police and protesters in Makokoba township which degenerated into violence leading to the closure of roads leading to the match venue — Luveve Stadium.

Police said they were stretched and could not provide details to man the match.

Yesterday the PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele issued a statement announcing the cancellation of the weekend matches in Bulawayo.

In a terse statement, the PSL said they had called off the two matches following advice from the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

While Bulawayo will not have PSL matches this weekend, fixtures released this week will go ahead as scheduled.

The biggest tie of the weekend will be the blockbuster between FC Platinum and CAPS United who meet at Mandava stadium this afternoon.

CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is convinced his team will be given a stern test by FC Platinum this afternoon.

The Green Machine are desperate for maximum points after last week’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Hwange at Rufaro Stadium.

CAPS go into today’s encounter against the platinum miners in third place with 25 points from 12 matches while Norman Mapeza’s men are a place above United with 26 points from 11 matches.

However, after watching his side throw away a good chance of collecting maximum points last weekend, Chitembwe is fully aware they are in for a tough encounter against FC Platinum this afternoon.

“I think it’s one game that promises to be a thriller especially for the neutrals,” Chitembwe told the Daily News yesterday.

“These are two teams that have been doing well lately and with everything to play for. We are however, looking forward to a good game. We want maximum points. Of course it will not be an easy match. Platinum are difficult especially when they are at home.”

After dropping two crucial points at home last weekend, the former Zimbabwe international said it was imperative for his side to return to winning ways starting with today’s encounter.

Following last weekend disappointment, a number of unruly Makepekepe fans caused a scene outside the stadium as they demanded answers from Chitembwe.

But the Makepekepe gaffer is not reading much into those protests and called on the Green Machine faithful to remain focused as his team was in a good position to launch a serious title challenge this season.

The former Makepekepe midfielder also played down the departure of veteran defender Method Mwanjali, who has joined Tanzanian club Young Africans and the unavailability of forward Abbas Amidu, who is on trials in Germany.

“We have a full strength side. It’s only Method who is not available otherwise all the other guys are available for selection,” he said.

Fixtures:

Today: FC Platinum v CAPS United (Mandava Stadium), Chapungu v Chicken Inn (Ascot Stadium), Harare City v How Mine (Rufaro Stadium), Ngezi Platinum Stars v ZPC Kariba (Baobab Stadium)

Sunday: Hwange v Bulawayo City (Colliery Stadium), Dynamos v Border Strikers (Rufaro Stadium).

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