Crunch Chibuku quarters uncertain

Captain Frank Makarati, midfielders Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi are in the Warriors squad to face Botswana in a friendly match.

THE big Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final clash between Dynamos and FC Platinum scheduled for Mandava Stadium on Saturday is hanging in the balance as the latter have three players in the national team playing Botswana on Saturday

Captain Frank Makarati, midfielders Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi are in the Warriors squad to face Botswana in a friendly match.

DeMbare coach Genesis Mangombe, who is the new Warriors assistant coach is also set to miss his team’s important tie.

New Warriors head coach Baltemar Brito’s Highlanders are scheduled to play Caps United in the other quarter-final match at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

The friendly match, set for Gaborone, will form part of Botswana's Independence Day celebrations.

The Warriors squad is expected to depart for Gaborone tomorrow.

Mangombe yesterday told NewsDay Sport that his club has already written to the Premier Soccer League asking for the FC Platinum match to be pushed to a later date.

“I understand the club has already written a letter to the Premier Soccer League for the game to be postponed to a later day. They have not responded,” Mangombe said.

Fifa rules state that a club is not obliged to fulfil domestic games if three or more of its players are away on international duty.

“It's very unlikely that we will fulfil the Chibuku fixture this weekend because three players and myself will be away on national duty. It's impossible for us to go into such an important game without key members of the squad.”

The trio of Makarati, Kante and Mudadi has been influential in Dynamos' charge for the league title this campaign. They helped DeMbare in their 1-0 victory over Caps United in the big Harare derby on Sunday.

The win saw Mangombe's side maintaining the nine-point gap between them and log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars with 10 round of matches remaining. The gap is set to be slashed to six points if they are awarded points from their abandoned match against Highlanders.

Mangombe said the club will not block the players from linking up with the national team.

“There is no way we can ask the players to turn down the international call-ups because we know it’s very important for them. This chance to represent the country doesn’t come often. We will obviously honour the call for national duty, and so we are kindly asking the authorities to move the Chibuku game to a later date, even midweek next week would be fine with us," Mangombe said.

Dynamos have been booted out by FC Platinum in the last two editions of the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, the country's only knockout competition. Winners of the competition will get a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup.

FC Platinum have Brian Banda and reigning Soccer Star of the Year Walter Musona in the Warriors squad.

Highlanders are also understood to be pushing for their Sunday's blockbuster quarter-final clash against Caps United to be pushed to a later date as they too have three players, plus Brito, in the Warriors fold.

Bosso players in the Warriors squad are defenders Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa and midfielder Brighton Manhire.

Another quarter-finalist Chicken Inn could also refuse to play their match against Black Rhinos in a 1pm kickoff on Saturday as they will be missing three key players in goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, defender Xolani Ndlovu and midfielder Shepherd Mhlanga who will all be representing the country in Botswana.

The other quarter-final clash will see Herentals, who have star player Tino Benza with the Warriors, face Ngezi Platinum Stars who will be without goalkeeper Nelson Chadya and captain Qadr Amini who are also set to travel to Gaborone.

Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final matches

Saturday: Chicken Inn v Black Rhinos (Luveve, 1pm), Fc Platinum v Dynamos (Mandava, 3pm)

Sunday: Herentals v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava, 1pm), Highlanders v Caps United (Barbourfields, 3pm)

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