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NTOUBA IN AGAIN

DYNAMOS striker, Christian Ntouba is available for the Chibuku Super Cup first round match against Bulawayo City at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow, as controversy continues to dog the Cameroonian forward.

BY HENRY MHARA

According to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) rules and regulations, Ntouba should not be eligible for this match, but Dynamos have been told that they can field him.

The PSL rules state that a player that is shown a red card in a match is automatically suspended for his team’s next two official matches.

Section 33.2 of the rules says: “Any player expelled from the match for a red card shall immediately leave the pitch, or the bench, and in addition shall be for two official consecutive matches be suspended automatically. For the avoidance of doubt, any friendly or charity match shall not be treated as an official match, and shall operate to nullify the operation of the said red card.”

However, the PSL yesterday said these rules would not apply in the Chibuku Super Cup competition, making Ntouba available to face City, and he will now serve his last match suspension in the team’s midweek league match against Shabanie Mine after sitting out the 1-0 loss to Caps United last week.

“He (Ntouba) is available because this is a different tournament and different rules apply.”

Elsewhere, league rules and regulations apply in all the other cup competitions.

For example, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was shown a red card in their English Premier League match against Manchester City a fortnight ago and the Senegalese star was suspended for three matches, the standard punishment for a straight red card in that league.

He missed the match against Burnley last weekend plus the Carabao Cup match against Leicester City on Tuesday and will serve the last of the three-match suspension today against the same opponents.

Ntouba was shown a straight red card in Dynamos’ league clash against Highlanders for a head-butting offence a fortnight ago.
His availability is good news to coach, Lloyd Mutasa, who is eyeing a league and cup double this season, having guided his side to the top-of-the-log standings this week.

Mutasa said he wants to beat Bulawayo City to make a statement of his team’s ambitions this season.

He said he would make changes to the team for the match to keep the squad fresh, as they fight on two fronts.

“We are prioritising both the league and this competition, but we have to balance the equation. The games are coming thick and fast because after this match, I understand we play a league match in midweek, then another match the following weekend, so we will obviously rest some players and use those who have not been getting game time. We don’t want to exhaust the players at this stage of the season.

“We know what to expect from Bulawayo City. They are a good side, we have a game on our hands. But we are Dynamos and we have to make a statement,” Mutasa said.

When the two teams met in the league, the match was a thriller with a staggering seven goals scored, DeMbare eventually nicking a 4-3 win.

City coach, Mandla Mpofu said his team was ready for Dynamos.

“It’s a tough match for us because we are playing a big club. We gave them a huge scare, when we played them in the league, scoring three goals and we are the only ones to do so this season, so they can underrate us at their own peril. They might win it, but they will have to double their efforts. We want to win the competition, but we won’t curse ourselves if we reach the semi-finals,” he said.

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