Zimbabwe/Egypt: Dembare Abort Trip to Cairo
HARARE giants Dynamos were last night forced to abort their scheduled trip to Cairo, Egypt, for an African Champions League Group A showdown against five-time champions Al-Ahly on Sunday.
The DeMbare delegation is now scheduled to leave Harare this afternoon and will connect an Egypt Air flight in Johannesburg for the trip to Cairo.
The entire Dynamos party had checked in at Harare International Airport for their flight to Johannesburg last night.
The Zimbabwe champions were booked on an Air Zimbabwe flight that was supposed to take them from Harare to Johannesburg.
But the Air Zimbabwe flight was delayed last night and, at 8.45pm, the DeMbare management decided to cancel their trip to Johannesburg.
Club chairman Partson Moyo told The Herald last night that they were forced to cancel the trip after realising that their delegation would miss their scheduled flight from Johannesburg to Cairo.
"If the Air Zimbabwe flight had left on schedule, then our delegation would have arrived in Johannesburg at about 8pm enabling them to catch the flight from there to Cairo.
"But there has been a delay in the flight from Harare and we have been left with no option but to cancel the trip because our boys would have been stranded in Johannesburg had they left since they could not catch the connecting flight.
"We have recalled the team and they will be housed in a hotel and we have managed to confirm bookings for them to leave Harare tomorrow afternoon and then connect an Egypt Air flight to Cairo.
"Everything is now in order and we have to give credit this time to our travel agents, Lomagundi, for the manner that they reacted once we realised we were in a crisis and the way they made this new arrangement."
Moyo said while he would have preferred Dynamos to leave this morning, he was concerned with an arrangement in which the team was going to spend more than 12 hours in Johannesburg waiting for their flight to Cairo.
"The new arrangement means that the boys will be able to train tomorrow morning before they leave for Johannesburg."
Dynamos skipper Murape Murape has been included in the DeMbare squad set to play in Cairo.
The hard-working Murape had been doubtful for the trip after injuring his knee during the other Group A league tie against Zamalek in Cairo two weeks ago.
Murape was given more than four days to rest and missed his team's CBZ Premiership clash against Eastern Lions last Thursday.
Dynamos coach David Mandigora went on to rest the midfielder during the ABC Sup8r Soccer Showdown against Sundowns on Sunday and news of his return to fitness should boost morale in the team's camp.
Another key midfielder, Wonder Sithole, who is also injured, has been dropped while tragedy has once again dogged veteran midfielder Desmond Maringwa.
Team manager Nyika Chifamba yesterday said Maringwa, who had been struggling with his fitness, lost his father yesterday.
"Desmond phoned us to say he had lost his father today (yesterday).
"It has come as a shock to the team just when we are about to depart.
"Our sympathies are with him and as a club we hope chairman Patson Moyo and secretary Tawanda Murerekwa, who will be following on Friday, will go to the family home to convey our condolences," said Chifamba.
Mandigora has included Tafadzwa Maingire, who missed the last trip to Cairo following complications with his travel documents.
Mangire usually plays as a defender but can be thrust into midfield if the situation calls.
Midfielder David Shoko - who has been clueless this season - has finally been dropped this time.
Dynamos' game has been set for the Military Stadium in Cairo, the venue for their 0-1 defeat by Zamalek.
The club's director of coaching Sunday Chidzambwa is expected to leave with the squad and to help his coaches from the bench.