Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

No divided loyalty at Barbourfields

By Ricky Zililo

The hype for tomorrow’s Caf Champions League encounter between FC Platinum and Horoya AC of Guinea might be low, but the Zimbabwe champions are guaranteed of strong backing from local fans.

A section of the crowd at Barbourfields Stadium during the FC Platinum, Orlando Pirates encounter last month

FC Platinum and Horoya clash at Barbourfields Stadium, with both teams hard-pressed for maximum points and fans can expected an open, mouthwatering encounter.

The build-up to the game has been low key compared to FC Platinum’s Group B opener against South African giants Orlando Pirates last month, which saw Barbourfields Stadium filling to the brim.

Over 23 000 fans paid their way into Bulawayo’s ceremonial home of football to watch that game, while thousands more were turned away as authorities feared a stampede.

Carlmarx Nkomo, the interim Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association Bulawayo wing chairman, said they have been campaigning on social media groups for local football enthusiasts to rally behind FC Platinum.

“The last game (FC Platinum and Orlando Pirates) had fans greatly divided because they follow the South African league and most know of Orlando Pirates.

However, going into the Horoya game, it is likely that the majority of fans will rally behind FC Platinum. As Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association, we are fully behind FC Platinum and are campaigning in various groups for people to back our champions,” said Nkomo.

“We are a group of football supporters from all teams in the country. Some of our members are coming from Harare, Gweru and Zvishavane for the game. We remain hopeful that FC Platinum will have lots of support and they are going to get their first Champions League group match win. We wish they win and get back into contention to progress to the next stage,” he said.

FC Platinum head into tomorrow’s game smarting from a 2-0 away defeat to defending champions Esperance of Tunisia, while Horoya slumped to a 0-3 drubbing by Orlando Pirates.

FC Platinum and Horoya are tied on one point, while Orlando Pirates of South Africa and Esperance of Tunisia are tied on four points. Orlando Pirates top the group due to a superior goal difference. The Chronicle