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Army ignores own teams for Charity Shield, warns fans

Charity Shield launch ... Caps captain Hardlife Zvirekwi, assistant coach Msiska
with Dynamos coach David Mandigora and his captain Augustine Mbara

12/03/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has admitted shunning its own football teams for the season-opening ZNA Commanders Charity Shield saying they do not draw good enough crowds to raise meaningful funds.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has two teams in the premier soccer league, Chapungu and Buffaloes, with other teams of note including Black Rhinos and One Commando which ply their trade in the first division.

Only Black Rhinos has participated Charity shield since it was launched in 2013 and has seen the last two editions being played by civilian terms under the guise of corporate social responsibility team.

But none of the army teams will feature in this weekend’s Charity Shield semi-finals which will see Dynamos take on Caps United at Rufaro in Harare while Highlanders will face How Mine at Barbourfields on Sunday.

Last year’s winners, FC Platinum have also been replaced by How Mine, supposedly to create interest in a mini Bulawayo derby.

Speaking at the launch of this year tournament in Harare this week, ZNA Director Public Relations, Alphios Makotore, said army teams have been excluded because they do not draw huge crowds.

“Not mincing our words, when we talk of Dynamos Caps, and Highlanders in Zimbabwe that is football,” he said.

“Dynamos is a brand; Caps is a brand and Highlanders is a brand. If they say Dynamos is playing in Mount Nyanga people will go there to make money.

“So basically we are fundraising and it will not us any favour to take a team which does not make money.”

Meanwhile, the army has warned that it will not tolerate any violence during the weekend semi-finals.

The warning comes after the last two Harare Derbies were marred by chaotic scenes which saw the security forces being called to help restore order.

“We will have no hustles as people know that the army is associated with discipline and order so all things will run smoothly and people should not worry about what has happened in the previous things,” said Makotore.

“We have got the tightest security in the land so everything will be flowing nicely,’ said the ZNA PR director.

The tournament is being sponsored at a tune of US$25 000 with the winners expected to walk away with US$12,000 while the runners will pocket US$8,000. The two losing semi-finalist will share US$5,000.


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