PERHAPS for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe’s premiership football, the country will next year be represented in the CAF Confederations Cup by a Division One team.
This follows the relegation of Harare City to the less glamorous second tier football competition weekend.
Harare City earned a ticket to participate in the continental competition after winning the 2017 Chibuku Super Cup, the country’s richest football knockout competition.
The Harare side has however, failed to survive the chop following a disastrous 2017 season in the Castle Lager Premiership marathon which saw them condemned to Division One together with Hwange, Tsholotsho and Bantu Rovers.
Football journalist Simba Chiminya told NewZimbabwe.com that by playing Division One football, Harare City are almost certain to lose some of their quality players to bigger teams still in the top-flight football.
This would be contrary to the norm where teams participating in continental competitions go shopping for quality players who can withstand the heat in the CAF competition.
“For a team to do well, first they would need to attract the best players on offer and no player of repute would want to play in Division One,” Chiminya said.
“So with some clubs like FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum and Dynamos hunting for quality players, definitely some players at Harare City would push for moves away from the club.
“In as much as players want to play in the African safari, there is no guarantee that they will even go beyond the preliminary stage.”
Chiminya said by playing in Division One next year, Harare City would also find themselves short of real competition to gauge their preparedness to compete with the big boys of African football.
“In playing in African safari, you would need real competition week in, week out and you can’t get that playing against Kariba Waves, Blue Swallows and Mushowani Stars,” he said.
The football scribe said the Harare City case was in stark contrast with that of their prospective opponents who have invested millions in buying players from different countries who even play for their national teams.
These include eventual winners of the 2017 Confederations Cup, TP Mazembe of DRC and SuperSport of South Africa who parade a galaxy of stars of different nationalities.