Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League could be forced to settle for another club to represent the country in the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup after Harare City, whom they had given the slot, refused the offer. CAF has altered the Champions League and Confederation Cup calendars to match the European schedule.
Beginning next year, the club competitions will start in September and end in May, but the next editions have been slated for December this year with the final date for registration set for October 15.
The deadline comes too early for the local league which still has 14 rounds of matches to play and can only declare a new champion at the end of the season that is scheduled to end by the end of November.
The changes, communicated just last month, presented quite a dilemma for the PSL who then resolved to extend invitations to the two teams which last won the championship and the country’s premier knock-out cup competition.
FC Platinum won the league title while Harare City claimed the Chibuku Super Cup before they were demoted into Division One.
The Sunshine Boys, however, benefited from the collapse of How Mine and were invited back into the top-flight.
Harare City did not take part in the CAF Confederation Cup last time and will not participate this time around either.
Club spokesperson Michael Chideme confirmed that the team will not be part and parcel of the CAF Confederation Cup cast.
“As Harare City we would like to thank the Premier Soccer League for having invited us to represent the country in the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup. We really appreciate that as a club.
“However, we regret to confirm that we cannot take the offer as we had not prepared enough for the adventure. We have since informed the Premier Soccer League of the position,” Chideme said.
Harare City have performed well in the league where they are sitting seventh on the log with 31 points after 20 matches.
While the Sunshine City Boys will not be participating in the CAF Confederation Cup, reigning league champions FC Platinum, who were given the offer to take part in the CAF Champions League, have confirmed that they will be representing the country in the main African safari.
The cash-rich Zvishavane platinum miners exited the competition in the preliminary stage early this year after they were hammered by Angola’s Primero Agosto.
The Norman Mapeza-coached side are on course to retain the league title as they sit at the summit of the standings with 46 points, two above second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars.