BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
HARARE football giants Caps United could lose several key players, including Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo to fellow city rivals Harare City.
Harare City, who are under the guidance of former Caps coach Lloyd Chitembwe, survived relegation by a whisker, managing a goalless draw against Ngezi Platinum.
Caps missed out on the title after losing 1-0 to eventually winners FC Platinum in a game they needed to win to claim the league championship.
And as they ponder the consequences of failure, reports suggest they could be decimated with the departure of some key players to Harare City and other teams ahead of the 2020 season.
Most teams have already started jostling for players who will be out of contract at the end of the month.
Besides Ngodzo, full back Valentine Musarurwa, Phineas Bhamusi and midfielder Kudzanai Nyamupfukudza have been linked with a move to the Sunshine City Boys.
The trio are some of the players who played a key role in Caps United’s championship bid before surrendering the title to FC Platinum on the final day of the league programme to eventually finish in third place.
Chitembwe dumped Caps in the middle of the campaign to take up the City challenge.
It is understood that several key players are planning to link up with their former coach at the financially stable Harare City.
Chitembwe has since identified some of the players who he wants at Harare City next season as he looks to compete at the top rather than at the bottom of the log and some Caps players are part of his wishlist.
However, Caps administrator Morton Dodzo refuted the reports, saying the club would retain all their players. “We don’t know where those reports are coming from; the club is going to retain all the players. An official statement will be issued in due course,” Dodzo said.
Caps failed to land the championship despite having been on top of the league table for much of the campaign.
The Green Machine, winners of the championship in 2016 had been expected to repeat the same feat this year under the guidance of Darlington Dodo.
However, the injury to influential central defender Method Mwanjale is seen as one of the contributing factors to their demise, while observers also believe the club hierarchy did not handle properly the issue of Chitembwe who left them when the team was in a firm position to win the league title.