THE Mbada Diamonds Cup will be played in early 2015 as the season opener to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) new term.
The developments were confirmed by Twine Phiri, the PSL chairman yesterday after meeting with the sponsors.
“The tournament will be played early next year as the season opener due to congestion that we are facing in the sports calendar,” he said.
“We have to give first preference to the Region 5 Games that are beginning on Thursday (tomorrow) and we cannot afford to divert the nation’s attention elsewhere.”
The country’s main focus this month falls on the Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games that start in Bulawayo tomorrow and will run until December 14. The games will be officially opened by President Robert Mugabe tomorrow.
After the end of the Region 5 Games, there is the National Unity Day on December 22.
The Mbada competition needs two weeks to run as there are two semi-finals and a final, unlike in the previous three seasons where all the 16 teams in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League used to take part.
The 2014 edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup will feature four teams — Dynamos, ZPC Kariba, Caps United and FC Platinum and is worth $250 000 while the rest of the 12 non-participating teams will get $10 000 each.
At the start of this week, both ZPC and Platinum, winners of the Chibuku Super Cup and Zimbabwe’s only entrant in the Caf inter-club competitions, indicated that they had begun preparations for the tournament.
Platinum would be the biggest beneficiaries as they need game time to prepare for the Caf Confederation Cup.
The cancellation of the tournament is a big blow to outgoing Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa who wanted to win the trophy for the third time before leaving the Harare giants on December 31.
Pasuwa has indicated he is not renewing his contract at the end of the year.