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Published On: Fri, Nov 28th, 2014
Sports | By

Cash Strapped Dynamos Opt Out Of 2015 Champions League

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DYNAMOS will not be part of the 2015 Champions League jamboree after the Glamour Boys yesterday failed to secure a sponsorship package for Africa’s premier knock-out tournament on a very sad day for Zimbabwean football.

It’s the first time in their history that the Harare giants have withdrawn from the competition for financial reasons.

Dynamos had previously only missed the Champions League after failing to qualify for Africa’s biggest club knock-out tournament.

Teams are supposed to confirm their participation by Sunday, while the deadline for the first window of player registration expires on December 15.

Club chairman Kenny Mubaiwa said they had centered their hopes on BancABC to bail them out by guaranteeing that they will bankroll their participation in the tournament next year.

Yesterday, Mubaiwa issued a public apology to the Dynamos players, coaches, fans and Zimbabweans at large for the management’s decision to withdraw from registering for the Champions League.

“BancABC have said they have no money to give us. All our hopes were on the bank and we were hoping that they could consider funding us in Africa. They (BancABC) are still committed to the deal to finance us in the domestic league,” Mubaiwa said.

“So, when you look at the time frame, it is not going to be possible for us to try and run around and look for sponsors even though BancABC had said we could find a sponsor for the Champions League.

“We are now going to ask ZIFA not to consider us and, if possible, nominate another club to take over the slot.”

The DeMbare boss said they were eager to take another crack at the Champions League with the hopes of bouncing back to the group stage, a feat that has eluded them since 2010 when Elvis Chiweshe’s men advanced to that prestigious level.

“We were hoping to do our best and the Champions League is important in that it helps us measure ourselves against other clubs in Africa,” said Mubaiwa.

“Yes, we have dominated the domestic league, but we also need a platform to showcase our talents to Africa and the rest of the world and that platform is found in the Champions League.

“We believe everything was going to change this time. This Champions League issue is not a Dynamos cause alone, it is for Zimbabwe because these are the competitions that put Zimbabwean football on the map.

“Sadly, we will not be part of it and we could now lose the top 10 ranking that we had worked hard for. In 2015 there will be no international club football for our players, yet everybody was willing to have the team participate.

“We are really sorry to the Dynamos family and to Zimbabweans at large about this, but our hands are tied; these are tough economic times.”

Mubaiwa felt their absence from the Champions League could also have a negative impact on the national teams, given that Dynamos usually provide players for the Young Warriors and the senior team.

“Maybe if ZIFA and the PSL had some money they could bail us out because it pains to note that we had been ranked very well, but we will not be able to represent the country and showcase what we can offer as a country in terms of football.

“So, it is not only Dynamos’ loss, but the nation’s also because our players need constant exposure to international football,’’ Mubaiwa said.

Meanwhile, Dynamos captain Murape Murape says the imminent departure of coach Callisto Pasuwa will be a huge blow to the Glamour Boys, which will be severely felt by the players he guided into serial champions in the past four seasons of success.

“I think we are all sad to hear that he is saying he is leaving,” Murape told The Herald. “As players, we are very sad that he is going because we achieved a lot with him.

“He had become a father figure and a brother to most of the guys.

“After what he has done for the club, we hoped that we would continue together; you know, it’s not easy to win the league.

“Most of the players are failing to get to terms with it.

“If he is going to leave, hopefully we can give him a good send-off by winning the cup games we have to play; win them for him because he has done a great job.”

The Dynamos skipper, who is looking to extend his career at the club by another year, had a close relationship with Pasuwa, having played together at some point.

He, however, feels the time might also be right for Pasuwa to walk away and face new challenges.

“I think it’s also good sometimes to leave when everyone is happy, for him to leave with a good record,” said Murape.

“On his part, I think it’s a good decision to go and face new challenges in his career. Football is a funny game; maybe we will meet again and, maybe, he will come back to Dynamos.

“Hopefully, our relations will remain good; it’s a good thing to keep good relations with players, the executive and the founding fathers.

“After being together for such a long time, it’s good to leave on a good note.”-HERALD

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