BASKING in the glory of their 2019 Chibuku Super Cup triumph on Saturday, Highlanders are yet to decide whether to take part in the Caf Confederation Cup next season due to ‘huge financial costs’ involved.
The awakening Bulawayo giants edged Ngezi Platinum 1-0 in the final at a packed Barbourfields Stadium, with man of the moment and Warriors star Prince Dube banging in the sole goal that settled matters, though with some controversy.
After spotting Ngezi goalie Nelson Chadya off line, Dube lobbed a stinger which came off the underbar and bounced down. Whether it then crossed the line or not is a debate for another day, the Bosso faithfuls believe referee Brighton Chimene made the right call in awarding the goal.
Now club chief executive Nhlanhla Dube says participating in Africa is a decision that will be made by the club’s hierarchy.
“We are excited at this moment and playing in Africa is obviously is something that a club like Highlanders would want to do, but that decision will be made by the bosses at the right time,” Dube says.
Bosso run a tight ship, controlled by voting members and an executive that reports to the Board of Trustees chaired by legendary football administrator Ndumiso Gumede, who acts as club president.
Triangle represented Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation Cup this season and Highlanders have to assume the mantle, but the costs of travelled across Africa might be prohibitive for the Net One-sponsored side.
The Chibuku Super Cup win is Highlanders’ first major trophy since the 2013 3-0 triumph over How Mine in the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at the same venue and comes exactly 10 years after they last participated in Africa.
They did not got to Africa at that time as they were already serving a three-year ban for refusing to play Nchanga Rangers of Zambia in the preliminary rounds of the Confed Cup in the previous edition.
Saturday’s win marks an emotional turn for Highlanders who have gone through three coaches this year since Madinda Ndlovu returned in 2018 to rebuild a club that was losing its identity, focus and self-belief.
After Ndlovu left for Gaborone United, Mandla Mpofu took over but found Ezikamagebhula too hot to handle and had to pave way for Dutchman Hendriek Pieter de Jongh, whose contract runs until the end of December.
The Dutchman is unbeaten since he took over and with cash rich FC Platinum and Ngezi looking for permanent matches next season, he is certain to be one of their targets.