Zimbabwe: DYNAMOS will have to negotiate past a minefield and clear explosive hurdles, including one likely to be erected by record Champions League winners Al Ahly of Egypt, for the Glamour Boys to return to the group stages of Africa’s premier inter-club tournament next year.
The Harare giants are the only Zimbabwean club that will feature in the CAF inter-club tournaments next year and will start from the bottom of the pit following their relegation into the preliminary rounds.
The latest draw by CAF held on Sunday also shows that Zimbabwe have lost their special status of having two representatives in both the Champions League and Confederation Cup after a poor showing by local clubs in recent years.
Dynamos have targeted a good showing on the continent next season after poor campaigns in the past two years in which they fell at the first hurdle last season and were humiliated in the second round by Esperance this year.
But they will need to move mountains to reach the group stages of the tournament with three tough North African teams standing in their way.
DeMbare were handed a sweetener, with a date against Lesotho Correctional Services in the preliminary round, but it’s what happens after that, which matters.
For the tough draw put them on a possible collision course with record champions Al Ahly of Egypt in the final hurdle for the group stage qualifiers.
The Zimbabwean champions, who are coming from a fruitful domestic season in which they retained the League and Cup double, will begin their campaign in the preliminary round tie against Lesotho Correctional Services.
And, if they manage to sail through, as is largely expected, DeMbare will take their campaign to North Africa where they are scheduled to face either Al Ittihad of Libya or Tunisia’s Club Athletique Bizertin between March and April before a possible date with the holders Al Ahly.
The Egyptian giants, who are currently representing Africa well at the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan, will start the defence of their title in the first round, with a date against winners between lightweights St Mitchel (Seychelles) and Kenya champions Tusker.