THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League has suspended this week’s fixtures due to the national team’s preparations for the final qualifying round of the African Nations Championships against Zambia on Sunday.
The Premiership action which was supposed to resume on Wednesday will resume next week.
In a statement to clubs on Tuesday, the PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said action will resume on 14 August.
“This serves to advise that due to the re- arranged CHAN second round match between Zimbabwe and Zambia, we have no alternative but to postpone week 19 and 20 Castle Lager League matches,” said Ndebele.
“The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League week 19 matches shall now be played between Wednesday 14 August and Friday 16 August 2013.
“We will advise you on the dates for week 20 matches.
“The BancABC Sup8r Cup Semi – Final matches shall be played on 17/18 August 2013.”
Warriors manager Patrick Mutesva welcomed the move by the league to postpone their fixtures and said they begin their preparations for the Zambia game this morning.
“We gave the players an off day today and they should report into camp in time for Tuesday’s 10am training session,” said Mutesva.
“So far the coaches have not made any additions with only Augustine Mbara who had been excused last week for family business joining the rest of the guys to make-up a 21-member squad.
“There were concerns before the PSL cancelled its games that in the event that we release players to clubs to play their league matches they might pick up injuries. What the PSL has done (to postpone matches) shows that they support the national team.”
The PSL decision gives newly appointed national team coach Ian Gorowa an opportunity to select the players that he wants without fear of disrupting the league activities.
Gorowa has retained the 21-member squad he had for the return leg of the first round Chan qualifier against Mauritius.
Already, some of the clubs were starting to crack their heads on how they would prepare for the midweek fixtures as they have at least three players each with the national soccer team.
Teams with at least three players on national duty are Caps United, FC Platinum, Chicken Inn, defending champions Dynamos and Bulawayo giants Highlanders. All these teams are in the championship race.Advertisement
Bosso who were supposed to play Black Mambas in Harare tomorrow have goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, Milton Ncube, Peter ‘Rio’ Moyo and the captain for the locally based national team Masimba Mambare at the Warriors camp.
Reigning champions’ quartet of Patson Jaure, Augustine Mbara, Devon Chafa and Tawanda Muparati are also in the national team.
Chicken Inn who are fifth on the Premiership table tied with Caps United on 31 points have their skipper Felix Chindungwe, Danny Phiri and the league’s leading goal scorer Tendai Ndoro with the national team while Makepekepe have goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, Hardlife Zvirekwi and striker Dominic Chungwa.
Former Soccer Star of the Year Charles Sibanda, Ali Sadiki and Nelson Maziwisa are the FC Platinum trio doing national duty.
Other players in the national team which has been in camp to close to a month after participating in the Cosafa Cup in Zambia include How Mine’s striker Simba Sithole, Silas Songani from the log leaders Harare City, Hwange defence stalwart Eric Chipeta and Blessing Chimwamuchere of Triangle.
Zimbabwe who lost 2-0 in the final of the Cosafa Cup in Zambia last month will be hoping for a change of fortunes when they take on Chipolopolo.
Zambia come to Zimbabwe bubbling with confidence following their 2-0 win against Botswana at the weekend to set a final round qualifier date with the Warriors.
Goalkeeper: Tafadzwa Dube (Caps United), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders)
Defenders: Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Felix Chindungwe (Chicken Inn), Augustine Mbara, Patson Jaure (both Dynamos), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Blessing Chimwamuchere (Triangle)
Midfielders: Danny Phiri (Chicken Inn), Devon Chafa, Tawanda Muparati (both Dynamos), Ali Sadiki (FC Platinum), Silas Songani (Harare City), Peter Moyo, Masimba Mambare (both Highlanders)
Strikers: Dominic Chungwa (Caps United), Tendai Ndoro (Chicken Inn), Charles Sibanda, Nelson Maziwisa (both FC Platinum), Milton Ncube (Highlanders), Simba Sithole (How Mine)