Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Highlanders Football Club executive meets today to decide if the club will participate in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup after clinching the Chibuku Super Cup on Saturday.
Bosso won the right to represent the country in the less glamorous continental tournament after beating Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 in the final, courtesy of a Prince Dube strike.
Kenneth Mhlophe, the Highlanders’ chairman, said after their executive meeting they will forward the matter to the board, which will advise them on the way forward.
“We are happy that we’ve won the tournament and credit to the boys for winning a major trophy and making sure that Highlanders stamps its authority as giants. On Monday we will have a meeting as an executive to map the way forward. Remember, playing in Africa needs adequate resources and planning, so we have to sit down, present the case to the board and come up with a decision that is good for the survival of the club,” said Mhlophe.
“We will also engage our sponsors on the issue before making a decision. We don’t want to rush and confirm our participation before addressing key issues. We also don’t want to get the club sanctioned by Caf for failing to participate. I think by the end of the week, a decision would have been made”.
In 2012, Caf slapped Highlanders with a three-year ban from its inter-club competitions for declining to participate in the Caf Confederation Cup when they had already been registered. The ban ended in 2014.
Bosso were paired with Zambian outfit Nchanga Rangers in 2011 after Zifa had rushed to register them for the continental competition without the club’s consent.
In 2013 Highlanders won the Mbada Diamonds Cup, but could not compete in the Caf club competitions due to the ban.
How Mine, the club Highlanders beat in the Mbada Diamonds Cup, went on to represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup.
By lifting the Chibuku Super Cup, Highlanders bagged $225 000, with Ngezi Platinum Stars walking home with $150 000.
Meanwhile, Mhlophe thanked the fans for coming in their numbers to support the team.
“We are grateful to our partners NetOne for the support that they have been giving us. We are also grateful to the supporters, who came in their numbers to cheer the boys. We never had a good start to the season, but winning this trophy makes up for the slow start we had. Even when things didn’t appear to be going according to the way we had wanted, the fans stood by the boys, cheered the team and they deserve a big thank you. Thank you Highlanders’ fans for passionately supporting the club,” said Mhlophe.
Despite the large crowd witnessed at Barbourfields Stadium for the final, official figures released say only about 13 000 fans paid to watch the match. — @ZililoR