FC PLATINUM started life without the off- sick head coach Norman Mapeza with a win over town rivals Shabanie Mine at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane, to lift the inaugural Roy Mazingi Memorial Cup Final.
The tournament featured four midlands teams including Chapungu and new comers Nichurut and was played to honor the former Chapungu goalkeeper Roy Mazingi who died in January while in a military training camp.
New signing Eonde from the DRC scored the only goal for the Platinum Miners from a free kick in the 31st minute.
In the semi-finals it was goals galore as Shabanie mine beat Chapungu 4-1 through a hat trick by Tatenda Makuwe and a single strike from Amon Kambanje, while Bruno Mtigo was on target for the airmen.
Fc Platinum also accounted for new comers Nichuruit in the other semi-final clash by the same score line with goals from Farai Mupasiri, Lawrence Mhlanga, Gift Mbweti and Marshall Mudehwe. Farai Vimisai scored for the new boys.
Mazingi had established himself as the first choice goalkeeper at Chapungu. The FC Platinum victory was a big boast for stand in Coach Lizwe Sweswe as the league champions already out of the CAF Champions League prepare for the new season.
By Muziwethu Hadebe
The Castle Larger Premier Soccer League is now set to kick off on the 17th of March, a week later than initial planned the league has announced.
This emerged from the Board of governors meeting held in the capital on Saturday. The same meeting also welcomed back into the League Harare City who will be replacing How Mine Football Club who opted out of the league earlier in the week.
With some teams still yet to release their squads, the league has instructed all teams to have their squads submitted by Wednesday. The fixtures for the new season are expected to be out on Tuesday.
The rest of the 17 teams have confirmed their participation and remain in the top flight league. The delay has been caused to a large extent by the unavailability of proper stadium for some of the teams as well as the uncertainty in participating in this year’s competition from some of the teams.
Zvishavane based FC Platinum are the defending champions while the league welcomes new comers Herentals based in the capital, Bulawayo Chiefs from Bulawayo, Nichurut from Shurugwi and Mutare City from Mutare who make a return into the top league.
By Muziwethu Hadebe
NORMAN MAPEZA is still the FC Platinum coach, contrary to some media reports that had reported that the two time league championship winning coach had left the club following the team’s exit from the CAF Champions League.
FC Platinum Club President George Mawere said in a statement to the media that the head coach is currently on sick leave and the club wishes him to get well soon. He also pointed out that assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe will be the acting head coach in the absence of Mapeza.
“FC Platinum wishes to advise the public that Mr Norman Mapeza, is currently on sick leave. It is our hope that he will return to work fully recovered as we prepare to defend our historic Premier League title in the 2018 football season. As FC Platinum, our employees’ health and safety remains a top priority and we pledge to give Mr Norman Mapeza all the necessary support to ensure that he quickly recovers”, read part of the statement from Mawere.
The statement did not disclose the nature of the illness although Mapeza was evidently struggling with what looked like a back pain during the Platinum miner’s training camp in Bulawayo just before they travelled to Angola for their CAF champions league assignment which saw them booted out in the first round.
Mapeza won the first league title for the Zvishavane side last year. He also won the title with Monomatapa before and has had stints with the senior national team.