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Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
PREMIERSHIP log leaders CAPS United have cried foul over the decision by the PSL Disciplinary Committee to arraign the club, and four of their key players, before their tribunal today.
The timing of the move, on the eve of a crucial Castle Lager Premiership match against ZPC Kariba at Rufaro, has been described as suspicious.
The Green Machine are locked in a fierce race for the league championship with Chicken Inn and FC Platinum.
Midfielder Ronald Chitiyo, Carlos Rusere, Dominic Chungwa and John Zhuwawu are expected to withdraw from camp today to answer to charges related to the post-match disturbances which followed their league match against Chicken Inn at Barbourfields last month.
The PSL said the players, and the club, were being charged for breaching the Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations, in particular Order 31, that deals with acts of violence.
However, Makepekepe coach, Darlington Dodo, yesterday felt the timing of the hearing disrupted their focus on the preparations of the game against ZPC Kariba tomorrow.
He says this could deny his team a level playing field in this year’s tense championship race.
Dodo believes, whatever the outcome of the hearing, his players will be left with a heavy psychological burden to deal with ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with ZPC Kariba.
“I don’t need to wish ourselves the worst, I have to be positive always and I know I don’t have to comment about the allegations and everything else,’’ he said.
“What I have to do is to prepare the team that I have at my disposal. I will leave everything to the authorities.
“But the time was wrong, I don’t think it’s proper. It’s very unfortunate to have such actions before a crucial game like the one we are playing against ZPC Kariba.
“The good thing is we have been psyching up these players in terms of their mental attitude. They are seasoned players.
“They know what they want to achieve. The time that we are in, they really know what we are pushing for.
“Hopefully, it won’t disturb us. The timing is very unfortunate, it was going to be better off if our game was brought back and then we play after the hearing rather than having the players going for a hearing and then play the next day.
“But I hope and trust they will be in good mental state.”
Makepekepe lead the race with 51 points, two ahead of FC Platinum and Chicken Inn.
Their opponents ZPC Kariba are six points off the pace but they can still fancy their chances, with four games remaining in the season.
CAPS United officials said they have been unsuccessful in their efforts to persuade the PSL to allow them to play on Wednesday and then have the hearing afterwards.
They also questioned the decision to have their team play on Thursday when most of the teams involved in the title race were playing today.
Chicken Inn travel to relegation-threatened Mushowani this afternoon while FC Platinum are away to Manica Diamonds at Vengere.
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Hwange (Luveve)
Mushowani Stars v Chicken Inn (Trojan)
Harare City v TelOne (Rufaro)
Chapungu v Dynamos (Ascot)
Manica Diamonds v FC Platinum (Vengere)
Triangle Unite v Herentals (Gibbo)
Black Rhinos v Yadah (NSS)
Highlanders v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields)
Tomorrow: CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro)