Why was the much-awaited big clash pitting the traditional giants of Zimbabwean football Highlanders and Dynamos postponed?
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
It’s a question that has failed to draw a credible explanation all week-long.
According to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the biggest encounter on the local football landscape was postponed due to “logistical issues”.
Unconfirmed reports claim that the two arch-rivals have been put on standby to play at the inauguration celebrations for the newly elected-president, which have been put on hold for the time being.
Yet that suggestion has been thrown out of the window in clear contempt by responsible authorities.
“The match was postponed because of logistical issues,” PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare said.
What does that even mean?
“It means just that,” she responded.
Bare professed ignorance about the inauguration celebrations rumours.
“I don’t know about that, maybe you should enquire with the clubs or other people who can comment about that. All I know is the match has been postponed and will be played at a later date,” she said.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the directive to suspend the tie came straight from the Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation ministry.
But Sports minister Kazembe Kazembe (pictured left) refuted the allegations, while welcoming the idea of two of the country’s biggest football clubs playing at an occasion for the country’s president.
“That’s not true. The ministry cannot order the cancellation of a premiership match. The ministry does not run the domestic league. It is run by the PSL, which is an affiliate of Zifa. I suggest you contact the PSL for more information with regard to the cancellation,” he said.
“If my office wants Dynamos and Highlanders to play at the inauguration ceremony, it sends the invitation to the PSL via the normal channels. If that’s the case, it is the PSL and Zifa that would make the necessary arrangements.
“Dynamos and Highlanders are arguably the biggest clubs in the country and it will be befitting for them to play at such an occasion.”
Highlanders and Dynamos were supposed to meet at Barbourfields during this week’s round of fixtures.
The cancellation means the two teams will go three weeks without kicking a ball after the two-week postponement of the league due to the harmonised elections.
However, if a Highlanders tweet yesterday on their official Twitter handle is anything go by, the club is not happy with the long layoff.
“You are not alone in this long wait for our biggest fixture against our perennial rivals @dynamos2018,” read the tweet.
“It’s not easy for players to go for three weeks without playing a match. This is the current situation in our camp. As the boys will say: ‘The morale is not happy in camp (sic)’.”
The postponement of the big match could have served as a blessing in disguise for Dynamos, who have been reportedly sweating over key defenders Blessing Moyo and vice-captain Marshal Machazane who are nursing injuries.
The Harare giants also needed more time to secure new signing Kingston Nkhata’s international reverse clearance.