DYNAMOS and Highlanders will start the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season tomorrow without new Adidas kits following failure by their supplier to deliver them on time it, has emerged.
The two giants, though, were still hoping that something dramatic might happen in the 24 hours before the opening league matches.
Highlanders will play ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura Stadium while Dynamos will be at home to Buffaloes at the National Sports Stadium.
Both teams confirmed to Southern Eye Sport yesterday that they were yet to receive the new strip with supplier Edzai Kasinauyo, the proprietor of E-Sport, Adidas’ designated agent in Zimbabwe, saying he was out of the country and could only speak to this publication next week.
Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said they had been promised it would be delivered by last night.
“We have not received our kit as yet. We are meant to get it via E-Sport and Edzai Kasinauyo confirmed last night (Wednesday) that it would be ready by this afternoon and would send it through courier services for it to get here either in the evening or in the morning tomorrow (today),” he said.
Gumede said they had since told Kasinauyo that they would be travelling to Harare this morning for their encounter against ZPC Kariba and that they would collect the kit from there.
However, he said they had made provisions in case there were mistakes on the strip and they would use the old gear.
“We have made a contingency plan to carry our old kit just in case there are any problems. It is unfortunate that it has taken this long because we started asking for the kit at the beginning of the year and we were told that it was still being worked on. We had to contact our sponsor BancABC who in turn spoke to the supplier and they were told that it was work in progress,” Gumede said.
Kasinauyo, through his E-Sport company, was contracted by BancABC to act as a middleman between Adidas and the teams.
Dynamos president Keni Mubaiwa said they had not received the 2015 strip, with secretary-general Webster Chikengezha saying they had opted to buy their own.
“We were supposed to receive the kit, but we have not. We have made a number of follow-ups but we were not told on when we are getting it,” Mubaiwa said before referring all questions to Chikengezha.
Chikengezha said: “We were promised that we were going to get it and for the past two weeks we have been making follow ups. We were told that we would get it by Monday, but nothing has happened and we have had to buy our own.”
When contacted for comment Kasinauyo said he was out of the country.
“Can’t you call me next week? I am out of the country and my phone is on roaming and it is expensive on me,” he said before hanging up.
Meanwhile, Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu said the absence of some of his players would not deter them from their aim to get a win.
“We will be away and a win is a priority for us. Some of our players are out due to injury while others are on national duty. However, that should not be an excuse. If we could play and win without those players then we would be on track,” he said.
Simba Sithole, Ozias Zibande, Rahman Kutsanzira, Godfrey Makaruse are injured while Knox Mutizwa was admitted recently at Mpilo Hospital with severe burns on his back.
Highlanders will be without Thomas Chideu, Nqobizitha Masuku and Teenage Hadebe, who are in Harare for national duty. ZPC Kariba assistant coach Godfrey Tamirepi said they will be without goalkeeper Tendai Hove who is out injured, adding that for them it would be a difficult game.
“It’s going to be a difficult match. Highlanders will be out to win considering that last season we got four points from them.
However, this would be a different ball game altogether considering that they have new players and a new coach,” he said.
Tamirepi said they have to pick up where they left off last season and play well.
ZPC Kariba finished second in their maiden season.