Crack Zimbabwean soccer outfit Dynamos have stepped onto the breach to fill the void left by Morocco’s top team Raja Casablanca, after the North African giants pulled out of the Vodacom Challenge just 48 hours before the elite tournament was scheduled to kick-off.
Dynamos are by no means a second-string substitute and even though they only arrive in the country on Thursday, will present Orlando Pirates with a stiff challenge in the first semifinal at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.
The Vodacom Challenge organising committee pulled off the Zimbabwean coup only hours after the Moroccan Royal Federation of Football informed them of Raja’s withdrawal.
The Federation cited a conflict of interests and stated that their domestic competition was not yet completed and that the Raja squad was decimated by international call-ups.
Kaizer Chiefs supremo Kaizer Motaung was dismissive of these claims calling the withdrawal a “purely political move”.
Reports indicate that the upcoming World Cup 2006 Bid decision was the real reason behind the withdrawal.
Despite the inconvenience and furore Raja’s withdrawal has caused Motaung was still confident that South Africa would receive all four of the Confederation of African Football’s votes at the all-important World Cup vote early next month.
Motaung was more upset at the legality of their withdrawal saying that Raja had already been paid an appearance fee and had signed a legal and binding contract.
The Chiefs boss, however, remained upbeat about the prospects of the tournament but did say that the marketing would have to revamped and with only one day to go organisers would have work around the clock.