THE BancABC semi-finals will now be played on August 31 and September 1, Castle Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive Kennedy Ndebele confirmed yesterday.
The final will be played on September 21 at a venue yet to be decided.
FC Platinum will play Monomotapa on the first day while the Dynamos-Shabanie Mine match will round off the proceedings the following day at Barbourfields Stadium. Both matches are expected to be broadcast live by PSL partner SuperSport.
The semis were due to be played last weekend, but had to be called off to pave way for the Warriors-Zambia final round, first-leg qualifier of the African Nations Championships played at Rufaro on Sunday.
The international match had been due a week earlier, but was called off after Cameroon match officials appointed to handle the match missed their flights from Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in the match being pushed to last Sunday.
The Warriors are also set to play their last 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique on September 8 at Rufaro Stadium, meaning another week of local action will be lost. The PSL has, however, maintained that despite the postponements, the league programme would still end on time.
There will be no mid-week league action again while all weekend PSL matches have also been called off to cater for the Warriors’ return leg at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.
“Dynamos and FC Platinum have more than three players in the national team, making it impossible for the semi-finals to go ahead. We have other teams that also have players in the national team and we cannot have any league matches. The semis will then be played on August 31 and September 1,” Ndebele said.
He added: “There will be no midweek matches next week as well. After the postponement of the semis, we want to make them a big event and give the teams a week to prepare.”
Dynamos have goalkeeper George Chigova, new signing Oscar Machapa, Patson Jaure and Tawanda Muparati while Platinum provided Nelson Maziwisa, Charles Sibanda and Ali Sadiki to the team that will continue its preparations for Saturday’s return match against Zambia.
The top-eight competition returned after a one-year hiatus and carries prize money of $120 000 for the winners. Monomotapa beat Motor Action, Dynamos ousted Buffaloes, Shabanie Mine cruised past Chicken Inn while FC Platinum booted out Highlanders to reach the last four.
Runners-up will get $50 000. The losing semi-finalists will recieve $20 000 each while the losing quarter-finalists took home $12 000. Sakunda Petroleum, Topics Stores, LED Travel and Tours, Rockshade and Arenel have partnered the regional banking group in the competition.
The league has run 19 rounds and clubs will face a congested finale with 11 more games to be played and the 16-team knockout Mbada Diamonds Cup which is expected to round off the league programme on November 30 — the final day for the registration of teams that will play in the 2014 edition of the Caf Champions League and the Confederation Cup.