By Grace Chingoma
ZIFA have moved the Warriors’ home 2022 World Cup qualifier against Somalia to next Tuesday at the National Sports Stadium. Initially, the match was set for this Sunday at Barbourfields, but has now been switched upon the request of the Somalia Football Federation.
According to a statement from ZIFA, the visitors failed to secure flights to arrive in Bulawayo before the match. The first leg was in Djibouti yesterday.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association wishes to advise all football stakeholders that following a request from the Somali Football Federation, and in consultations with the Federation of International Football Associations, our 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifier second leg against Somalia has been rescheduled.
“The match will now be played on Tuesday 10 September 2019 after SFF failed to secure flights to Zimbabwe in time for the initial fixture date which was Sunday September 8.
“The venue of the match has also been moved from Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo to the National Sports Stadium in Harare because we already have another international match scheduled for Barbourfields on the 10th of September, the Under 23 Zimbabwe/South Africa Africa Cup of Nations qualifier,’’ read the statement.
The kick off remains 3pm.
The association said their online ticket partners, ClicknPay, will refund Bulawayo fans who had already purchased the tickets but were not able to make the trip to the capital.
“We understand the inconvenience this development presents to all stakeholders and we unreservedly apologise for the unexpected developments,’’ ZIFA said in the statement.
“In the spirit of fair play , African solidarity, brotherhood and togetherness, we felt the Somali Football Federation’s request was reasonable and sincere, thus, we had to consent, otherwise the match would not have taken place at all.
“The world governing body, FIFA have also commended ZIFA for this wonderful gesture.
“All those who had already purchased tickets will still use the same tickets and for those who cannot make the trip to Harare, we have authorised our ticketing partner, ClicknPay, to accept requests for refunds.’’
ZIFA have pegged the gate charges at $10 for the rest of the ground, $20 for bays 15 to 18 and $50 for VIP.
“We appeal to all stakeholders to continue supporting the team and to come to the National Sports Stadium for this massive international match.
“ZIFA also encourages fans to buy tickets for this match online at www.clicknpay.africa,” read the statement. The Herald