Harare derby in doubt

HARARE - This weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Harare derby between CAPS United and Dynamos is in doubt after the Glamour Boys threatened not to fulfil the fixture last night.

The two Harare giants are scheduled to go toe-to-toe this weekend in a Castle Lager Premiership match at either the National Sports Stadium or Rufaro Stadium; if the Mbare venue receives the greenlight.

DeMbare were not impressed by the fact that Warriors interim coach Sunday Chidzambwa has selected three players from their squad for the 2018 Kenya African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Namibia.

The Glamour Boys will be deprived of defender Ocean Mushure, utility player Obey Mwerahari and midfielder Emmanuel Mandiranga after they were included in Chidzambwa’s side for Sunday’s Chan qualifier away to the Brave Warriors in Windhoek.

CAPS, who have a huge fixture backlog due to their participation in the African Champions League, also have three players in the squad after striker Abbas Amidu, midfielders Moses Muchenje and Ronald Chitiyo were also included.

Makepekepe have only played nine league matches thus far while the rest of the teams are on 16 or 17 matches.

If the derby which was initially pencilled to take place in May is postponed again, it will mean more headaches for the Green Machine and the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

What has  infuriated Dynamos is that their coach Lloyd Mutasa, who is Chidzambwa’s assistant, will also miss the derby as he will be away in Namibia.

DeMbare have been without Mutasa and Mushure for the past two weeks as they were away with the Warriors for the Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa.

The Glamour Boys president Kenni Mubaiwa last night told the Daily News that they will not go ahead with the match without their key players and coach.

“At the moment, we have not received an official notification from Zifa asking us for permission to release our players and coach for the national team,” Mubaiwa said.

“The rules are, however, pretty clear — if a club has more than two players in the national team then they are not obliged to play their league matches.

“Our coach and a key member of our squad have been away with the national team for the Cosafa Cup and we cannot play such a crucial match against CAPS without our coach.

“The whole point of the derby will become meaningless if our coach and key players are not available.”

Mubaiwa added: “Initially, we had agreed with Zifa that they will not take more than two players from our team but we are surprised to hear that they went on to pick three.”

PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare told the Daily News the prerogative lies with the clubs whether to go ahead with the match or not when such a scenario arises.

“We are waiting for the clubs to get back to us. The clubs have an option to say they are no longer going ahead with the game if they feel they cannot do without their players.

“The clubs were engaging Zifa to find a way forward and I’m sure that by end of day tomorrow (today) we will have a clear position.

“If the clubs notify us that they cannot go ahead then there is no option but we will be forced to postpone the game.”

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