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$11 billion for winners

Darlington Majonga

DeMbare, Bosso brace for final

THE winners of the CBZ FA Cup final between Highlanders

and Dynamos at Barbourfields this Sunday will pocket $11 billion after the sponsor yesterday reviewed the prize money upwards.

CBZ Holdings, sponsor of the knockout tournament, yesterday adjusted the prize monies set aside at the launch in June by up to 7 333,3%.

The winner was initially set to get $150 million, which has been eroded by inflation.

The runners-up were set to get $75 million but will now pocket $5 billion.

Caps United and Lengthens, who bowed out in the semifinals, will each get $2 billion.

CBZ Holdings had at the launch promised to adjust the money according to inflation, which in May stood at 4 530%.

The figure for October is 14 840,6%, which brings average inflation over the last six months to 8 138,6%.

The original $150 million budget for the CBZ FA Cup had been used up by the quarterfinal stage as inflation continues to wreak havoc.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) had also not made provision for the eight replays staged in the tournament.

Winners of the women’s CBZ FA Cup final, featuring New Orleans against Cyclone, will get $2 billion with the runners-up pocketing half that amount.

Meanwhile, the stage is set for a bruising final after Dynamos and Highlanders sized each other up in last weekend’s Premiership encounter at Gwanzura.

Highlanders coach Methembe Ndlovu yesterday said his side, who trail Dynamos by four points in the Premiership race,
were the underdogs in Sunday’s CBZ FA Cup final.

“We have a lot of respect for them, so we are going into this match as underdogs,” Ndlovu told IndependentSport.

“The team at the top of the league table are always the favourites. Last year we were the best team but at the moment it’s Dynamos.”

However, Dynamos coach David Mandigora also refused the favourites tag, saying their 2-1 league win over Highlanders at Barbourfields on April 6 was inconsequential.

“They are the favourites,” Mandigora said. “They are playing at home before their home fans and there is no doubt they will be hard to beat despite the result the last time we visited them.”

Bosso have struggled for form at Barbourfields, but that seems not to worry Ndlovu.

“Contrary to popular opinion, I’m satisfied with our performance at Barbourfields,” Ndlovu said.

“We have done well but only that we have not been getting the kind of results people expect. That can change and it can start this weekend, but one only hopes so. It will be a difficult game against a strong team.”

With three games in the Premiership to go, both Highlanders and Dynamos have a chance to end the season with a league and cup double.

But Ndlovu, who led Bosso to the league championship in his first year in charge last season, said he was only concerned with the weekend assignment for now.

“As the technical team, we only look at one day at a time. For now our focus is on this weekend’s cup game,” he said.

Mandigora said they were cherishing a double, but predicted Highlanders would not give them victory on a silver platter.

“For us we treat all games seriously. It will be good to win both (league and cup), but it won’t be easy because cup games are always tough and the best team on the day wins,” Mandigora said.

Dynamos travel to Bulawayo without strikers Norman Maroto and Eunasio Perezu as well as defender Tafadzwa Maingire.

“It’s a very important game for us, but we have a few problems with injuries to strikers Perezu and Maroto and Maingire as well. They are all out,” Mandigora said.

Highlanders also have injury worries with midfielders Johannes Ngodzo and Wellington Sibanda doubtful for the final.

Striker Admire Dzukamanja is also unavailable for Bosso as he is cup-tied.

“Unfortunately Admire is cup-tied, Wellington has been struggling and Johannes didn’t play last week,” Ndlovu said.

“We will see if the guys can pass a fitness test as the game approaches, but if not we will have to do with the players available.”

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