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6 Bosso stars ruled out of Chibuku group stage

by Staff reporter
16 May 2021 at 09:47hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS have suffered a massive blow ahead of their Chibuku Super Cup title defence which starts on Saturday with six of their players ineligible to play in the first round of the country's most lucrative competition since they are yet to receive their international transfer certificates (ITCs).

Joel Ngodzo, Keith Mavunga, Winston Mhango who were in Zambia, Peter Muduhwa who was on loan at Simba Sports Club of Tanzania, Rodi Sibanda whose last club was Orlando Pirates of South Africa as well as Lynoth Chikuhwa who was in Botswana cannot play for Bosso when the Chibuku Super Cup starts on Saturday because they do not have ITCs, which are required for them to be issued player licences.

The development has left Highlanders coach Mandla "Lulu" Mpofu with just 20 players, that is 17 in-field and three goalkeepers for the grueling group stage of the Chibuku Super Cup in which Bosso will play six matches as they are due to face Chicken Inn, Bulawayo Chiefs and Bulawayo City twice each. Mpofu said his plans have been thrown into disarray since he was planning with the six players in mind.

"Six of our players are not eligible to play in the Chibuku Super Cup group stage because they do not have international transfer certificates. It means unless if we are granted any special waivers, we have to wait until the next transfer window opens on 1 July. The responsible authorities should have applied for waivers or we start football after 1 July. It will be difficult to defend the Chibuku Super Cup because I was planning with these players in mind, now that they are not available it's tricky. I am only left with 20 players, 17 in-field players and three goalkeepers for the six matches which will be difficult for me,'' Mpofu said.

While in the past, a team that gets to the final used to play four matches, the finalists would have played nine fixtures by the end of the competition. Mpofu feels that playing fellow Bulawayo teams will prove to be tricky.

"It's a long format, we used to play three to get to the final, now we play eight games to get to the final. We are playing six games in Bulawayo, these are derbies and derbies are always tricky and they are difficult."

Meanwhile, the country's most supported teams, Highlanders and Dynamos will not face each other in the quarterfinals of the Chibuku Super Cup if either of them progress to the last eight of the competition. Highlanders were the last team to win the Chibuku Super Cup in 2019 when they edged Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 in the final played at Barbourfields Stadium.

According to the draw conducted during the official launch of the sponsorship in Harare last Thursday, winners of Group 1 will face the runners up from Group 3. Winners of Group 3 will square off against runners up from Group 1. Dynamos, Caps United, ZPC Kariba as well as Harare City are in Group 1 while Group 3 has Manica Diamonds, Tenax, Black Rhinos and Cranborne Bullets.

Whoever comes out on top in Group 2 will face the second placed team in Group 4 with the champions of Group 4 to clash with the runner up in Group 2. Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Bulawayo City and Bulawayo Chiefs are in Group 2 while FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Triangle and Whawha make up Group 4.

It effectively means Highlanders and DeMbare can only meet in the semi-final or final should the two giants go that far.

Highlanders and Dynamos met in the first round of the 2019 edition of the Chibuku Super Cup, a fixture Bosso won 1-0 at Rufaro Stadium with the only goal of the match coming from Prince Dube.

Bosso, however, could face FC Platinum in the quarterfinals depending on what positions the two finish in their respective group. Highlanders and FC Platinum met in the quarter-finals of the country's most lucrative club competition, a match Highlanders won 3-0 at Barbourfields Stadium.

The Chibuku Super Cup is kicking off on Saturday and will act as a curtain raiser to the 2021 regular season which starts in July. Eighteen teams have been placed in four groups with the pool winners and runners-up to find their way to the quarterfinals. The matches are taking place at four venues, National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields, Mandava and Sakubva.

As announced by the sponsors Delta Beverages last Thursday, US$355 000 is the package for this year's Chibuku Super Cup.

First Round Draw

Group 1
Teams: Dynamos, CAPS United, Herentals, Harare City, ZPC Kariba, Yadah
Venue: National Sports Stadium

Group 2
Teams: Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Bulawayo Chiefs, Bulawayo City.
Venue; Barbourfields Stadium

Group 3
Teams: Manica Diamond, Tenax, Black Rhinos, Cranborne Bullets
Venue: Sakubva Stadium

Group 4
Teams: FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Triangle, Whawha
Venue: Mandava Stadium

Quarter Finals Draw:
Winner Group 1 vs Runner-up Group 3
Winner Group 3 vs Runner-up Group 1
Winner Group 2 vs Runner-up Group 4
Winner Group 4 vs Runner-up Group 2

The winners from the four quarter-final matches will be paired for the semi-finals by the public drawing of lots.

Source - sundaymail

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