Byo Chiefs out, Bantu Rovers in

Bantu sus­pend tech­ni­cal team, play­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ray­mond Jar­avaza Sports Cor­re­spon­dent Sports Reporter

SOUTH­ERN Re­gion Di­vi­sion One Soccer League’s run­ners-up Bu­l­awayo Chiefs have with­drawn from the in­au­gu­ral Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tour­na­ment, say­ing they want to give their play­ers a rest.

e eight team tour­na­ment, named af­ter the late iconic Fa­ther Zim­babwe Dr Joshua Mqabuko Ny­on­golo Nkomo and be­ing bankrolled by Trukump Min­ing En­ter­prises to the tune of $10 000, will run from De­cem­ber 3-10.

Zifa South­ern re­gion chair­man Musa Man­daza con­firmed Chiefs’ with­drawl and said they have since in­vited cham­pi­ons Bantu Rovers to take up the slot.

Rovers had been ex­cluded from the tour­na­ment to af­ford them am­ple time to pre­pare for the JUST a week af­ter be­ing crowned cham­pi­ons of the South­ern Re­gion Di­vi­sion One Soccer League, Bantu Rovers have sent coach Jo­hannes Ngodzo on forced leave.

The club has also sus­pended three se­nior play­ers and a mem­ber of the tech­ni­cal team.

The se­nior play­ers, Zepha­niah Ngodzo, Lin­de­lani Ncube and Le­nience Mpofu are said to have been plot­ting to in­flu­ence their team­mates to go for an in­dus­trial ac­tion over out­stand­ing sing-on fees.

Team man­ager Won­der Mpofu is sus­pected to have

Premier­ship pro­mo­tional play­offs and will now face ZRP Bu­l­awayo Prov­ince in the quar­ter-fi­nals. “Bu­l­awayo Chiefs will not be tak­ing part in the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tour­na­ment be­cause they want to rest their play­ers. “We have in­vited Bantu Rovers to take over Bu­l­awayo Chiefs’ place,” Man­daza said. The quar­ter-fi­nals which will be played on De­cem­ber 3 will see ZPC Hwange lock­ing been present when the play­ers con­spired to strike while Jo­hannes stands ac­cused of be­ing ab­sent with­out leave (AWOL) from work.

Rovers’ gen­eral man­ager Wil­bert Sibanda con­firmed that the quar­tet of Won­der, Zepha­niah, Ncube and Le­nience has been sus­pended pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions while Jo­hannes has been asked to present a re­port about his ab­sence.

“We’ve in­sti­tuted in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the se­nior play­ers you are ask­ing about (Zepha­niah, Ncube and Le­nience) as well as the man­ager Won­der af­ter get­ting some dis­turb­ing in­for­ma­tion that they in­tended to dis­rupt the team’s prepa­ra­tions this week. As a club we’ve got proper com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels which

horns with Talen Vi­sion while Zim­babwe Na­tional Army side Indlovu Iyany­athela will bat­tle it out against Hwange’s Tech­no­sphere.

The last quar­ter-fi­nal clash will see Black Boots fac­ing Vic­to­ria Falls based Ama­ga­gasi.

All the matches will be played at Bu­l­awayo’s White City and Lu­veve sta­di­ums.

Win­ners of the tour­na­ment will walk away with $2 400 with the run­ners-up pock­et­ing $1 500. ev­ery­one is aware of and we don’t con­done any be­hav­iour or plots that seek to bring the name of the in­sti­tu­tion into dis­re­pute.

“Just like any other football club we do have chal­lenges but we try by all means to make sure that our play­ers have their dues paid on time. We value our play­ers’ in­put that is why we go be­yond our means to make sure that they’re paid on time their bonuses and salaries,” said Sibanda.

About Jo­hannes, Sibanda said: “The coach went AWOL last week and we’ve asked him to write a re­port. In the mean­time Chipo Tsodzo is in charge of the team that is pre­par­ing for the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tour­na­ment.”

Los­ing semi-fi­nal­ists will each get $700 with teams go­ing out in the quar­ter-fi­nals each pock­et­ing $300.

Part of the spon­sor­ship pack­age will cater for in­di­vid­ual prizes, match of­fi­cials’ fees, po­lice, ground rentals and trans­porta­tion of teams.

Mean­while, four Aus­trian coaches will scout for tal­ent dur­ing the tour­na­ment — @Ray­mondJar­avaza.

Musa Man­daza

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