Zimbabwe teams to drop out of African Cups

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With little to no money, Zimbabwe’s Champions League and Confederation Cup representatives Gunners, Lengthens, CAPS United and Dynamos have hinted of pulling out from the continental competitions.

Zimbabwe’s Champions League and Confederation Cup representatives
Gunners, Lengthens, CAPS United and Dynamos with little to no money, have hinted of pulling out from continental competitions. The teams say they are struggling to source funds to cover expenses.

In estimates, the teams require close to US$700 000 in total to pull
through the early stages.

So serious is the threat that they have notified government through the ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) of the plight.

The withdrawal by the four clubs would not only cost the teams huge
penalties from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) but a ban from
the continental game of Zimbabwe’s teams for a minimum of three years.

Gunners are set to clash with Al Ahly of Egypt in a first round in Harare on March 20 before traveling to Cairo for the return leg a fortnight later.

Lengthens host Simba Stars of Tanzania on March 19 in the CAF Confederations, Caps United play Moroka Swallows of South Africa while
Dynamos will travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo to face FC Lupopo on March 20.

Chitima of Gunners said: “The burden has become too heavy for us as a
club, the going is getting really tough and we have been crying out for help since last year. We even presented our budget to the ministry through ZIFA and the Sports Commission”.

“So without any financial assistance it will be very difficult to play Al Ahly, we would rather stop them from coming here before we fail to fulfil the trip to Egypt,” he said.

ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya is optimistic that the Government will bail the teams out.

“We have had several meetings with the clubs over this issue in the last four to five months. We have even submitted our budget which included the four clubs and the national team in November last year with view to having it considered together with the national fiscus and we gave a $2 million budget which we hoped we would get.”

“On Tuesday last week we wrote to the Government again reminding them of the plight of the clubs”, she added.

On Thursday, government through education Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart said “government was hard pressed by other commitments that needed money and it would be hard to share the several activities from the same small cake.”

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