Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CHIBUKU Super Cup holders Harare City coach Mark Harrison says there are no guarantees his team will write another success story this year. The draw for the tournament is scheduled in Harare on Friday.
The Chibuku Super Cup first round matches are expected to begin in earnest in September with the first round dates set to be announced at the draw.
Former league champions Chicken Inn are banned from this year’s tournament after they caused the abandonment of their first round tie against Yadah last year.
The Gamecocks protested a late penalty which was awarded to Yadah with the teams tied 0-0 and walked off the field.
The Bulawayo side were banned by the PSL Ad-hoc committee according to the rules and regulations of the competition.
This leaves the league with an uneven number of 17 teams.
However, the bottom two teams, according to the log table, are likely to square off in a preliminary round tie with the winner joining the rest of the teams in the main draw.
Usually teams which are in the top nine by the time the league reaches the halfway stage of the season are seeded.
As of Week 18, the top nine teams were pacesetters FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum, Triangle, Chicken Inn, CAPS United, Harare City, Highlanders, Black Rhinos and ZPC Kariba.
They may be seeded should the league organisers decide to use the format they have used in other Chibuku Super Cup editions.
Premier Soccer League spokesperson Kudzai Bare said this year’s format and procedure for the draw will only be revealed shortly before the draw commences.
Harare City have won the Chibuku Super Cup twice since it was reintroduced in 2014.
They have also reached the last four in every edition.
FC Platinum were the inaugural winners while Ngezi Platinum won it in 2016.
But Harare City coach, Harrison, is not reading much into their history of the tournament.
“Obviously, the club has been successful in the Chibuku Cup, but there are no guarantees in football and that is the most important aspect to consider.
“Knockout competitions are very different to the league, teams play differently with a lot of factors to consider.
“So the bottom line is we have to play to win. We always play all our matches to win,” he said.
The Chibuku Super Cup also presents a ticket for the winner to feature in the CAF Confederation Cup.
This year’s winners are expected to compete in next year’s tournament which will begin in December 2019, following the changes in the CAF format.
Despite Harare City rejecting the bonus offer to feature in this year’s Confederation Cup, as the defending champions, the Briton believes it’s still an incentive for future competitions.
“It comes as an incentive at the end of the day.
“We didn’t compete this year and hopefully we will be successful and compete again next year,” he said.
Harrison says he does not wish to avoid any team when the draw is conducted.
“If I had a choice, I would prefer a home draw. Hopefully, we will get one. It makes life a little bit easier than playing away,” said Harrison.