Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
HARARE giants Dynamos have cried foul over ZIFA’s decision to call for a replay of the Independence Cup final against FC Platinum which was abandoned because of power failure at the National Sports Stadium last Saturday. ZIFA yesterday ruled that the match be played again on Wednesday, May 13, at Rufaro and fans will have to pay their way into the stadium so that the organisers will be able to raise money to meet the expenses of hosting the match.
The Uhuru Cup is usually free of charge as it is part of the programme to celebrate the country’s independence.
Dynamos were leading 1-0 courtesy of Ronald Chitiyo’s first-half strike when referee Pedzisai Chadya called off the contest with 65 minutes played.
According to a statement from the association’s spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela, Dynamos’ goal will be nullified and the teams are expected to play the whole 90 minutes.
“Following extensive consultation among all concerned parties, the Zimbabwe Football Association has committed to order a replay for the ill-fated 2015 Independence Cup final between FC Platinum and Dynamos.
“We have taken into cognisance that the abandonment of the match was a result of force majeure (unforeseen events) therefore none of the participating teams was at fault.
“This is a new game altogether and it will be played for a full 90 minutes. Consequently, the 1-0 position in favour of Dynamos obtained prior to the premature end of the match, is hereby nullified.
“In coming up with this position, we have analysed various possible scenarios within the dictates of the laws of the game as well as the tournament rules and regulations.
“It is also imperative to note that we also looked at costs hence we found it necessary to charge for entry to this game.
“We also appeal to the football fraternity and the nation at large to proffer the same support they had given on 18 April by coming in large numbers to witness the exhilarating encounter,” said Gwesela.
Supporters will have to fork out $2 for the rest of the ground seats, $5 for the Upper Grand Stand and $10 for the VIP ticket.
However, Dynamos chairman Mubaiwa yesterday said the decision to order a replay was fraught with discrepancies.
The DeMbare boss said the Glamour Boys were unhappy with the decision to have their goal cancelled and to play the whole 90 minutes since they did not cause the abandonment of the match.
Mubaiwa also said ZIFA should have made the tournament regulations to the participating teams clear prior to the tournament.
He said ZIFA did not consult them, contrary to their claims that they engaged both teams in coming up with the decision.
“What is the replay for? I thought this match was part of the celebrations for the Independence which were done on April 18 and of what value will it be if we play the match in May?
“It would have made sense if it was replayed the following day (Sunday) since there were no Premiership games.
“ZIFA, the leadership from both clubs, the PSL and the Sports Commission were all there when the match was abandoned and I didn’t see the reason why consultations could not be done and come up with a resolution then.
“I think we also need to have a look at the regulations, what exactly do they say in such cases? As a club we were prepared for two options. Either we play the remaining 25 minutes with our goal in place or the whole 90 minutes, again with our goal on the table.
“As it stands you will be tempted to say it is better they give the trophy to FC Platinum since they are the holders,” said Mubaiwa.
The tournament was organised this year under a tight budget which was slashed from $37 000 last year to $22 000 this year for the prize money.
DeMbare claim they have not received their share of the prize from last year. Mubaiwa said they also needed assurances from the organisers that they will be cushioned to avoid bleeding their strained coffers.
“Playing again would mean that as clubs we will incur more expenses, who then will foot the bills? Remember we also have many games ahead of us.
“Anyway, we will sit down as an executive after we get the confirmation from ZIFA and then see the best way forward,” said Mubaiwa.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza had not received official communication from his superiors last night but would welcome any decision from ZIFA.
“I am still waiting to hear from the authorities but if ZIFA have made their decision there is nothing we can do about it,” said Mapeza.