Godknows Matarutse Sports Reporter
GUNNERS coach Moses Chunga was yesterday fuming after club president Cuthbert Chitima suspended one of the senior players — Tapiwa Mangezi — ahead of their opening Mbada Diamonds Cup clash against Chicken Inn at Pelandaba tomorrow. The second edition of the Mbada Cup was
unveiled in the capital this month with the sponsors splashing over US$1 million for the 16-team competition which guarantees its winners a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup.
Chunga said the interference of the executive in technical affairs was making his work difficult.
The outspoken former Zimbabwe international forward said while they are struggling in the Premiership, Cup games are different and it can be their turning point to set the stage alight in their fight against relegation.
“The game will be difficult because some people are throwing spanners into the works,” said Chunga.
“It’s difficult to believe that Chitima suspends Mangezi, one of the senior players for that matter, on the eve of such an important game like this one.
“He did not communicate with me about the developments and as long as Chitima is not in the technical team, Mangezi will play and I have included him in my final 18 team.
“Suspending him means I will go into battle with lesser ammunition and how do you expect me to win,” asked Chunga.
Mangezi is believed to have exchanged words with Chitima after the 0-1 defeat in the midweek fixture to Buffaloes at Lafarge.
“I heard Chitima is saying he exchanged words with Mangezi on Tuesday after the game, but it’s his own problem because he is the one who tolerates players to such extreme levels.
“People will assume that’s how you play because you can’t be friends with players and now he wants to be the president, judge and complainant which is wrong,” added Chunga.
Despite the challenges, Chunga said he was going to Pelandaba to fight for positive results.
“We are going fight for a positive result so that we can progress to the next round,” Chunga said.
Efforts to get comment from Chitima proved fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.
While Chunga claims his work is being made difficult it was business as usual at other clubs as they aim to register wins and progress to the next round of the competition.
This is what they said:
Adam Ndlovu (Chicken Inn)
Cup games are like money games whether you play well or not doesn’t matter because what is needed is to win.
We were playing good football last year but we lost to Kiglon and we want to improve from that performance in this tournament.
These so-called small teams are dangerous because they will be fighting for their lives.
Tendai Chikuni (FC Platinum)
This is a Cup game and better team of the day will win.
The team that takes their chances wins and we are prepared for the battle. It’s not going to be an easy match but we are going to do our best and progress to the
Saul Chaminuka (Buffaloes)
We are prepared and we have always been ready for such matches.
There will be pressure playing at home but obviously we will be looking forward to do well come Sunday.
We need to play well and progress to the next round because there is money to talk about and there is also African football so we need to be on high alert.