Mapeza blames low turnout on ‘poor quality of football’ in Zimbabwe
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza believes the low turn out of fans into stadiums during Castle Lager Premier Soccer League games is a result of ‘poor quality’ of football being displayed by the country’s top flight teams.
Mapeza’s sentiments come after a huge outcry that the domestic league has been hard hit by poor attendance ever since football returned exactly two years after it was on suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are a lot of aspects and speculations to what has led to the low participation of fans during the local league matches.
Some believe the PSL’s requirements of the Covid-19 vaccination cards in particular has resulted in supporters to snub games, while others bemoan transport woes.
Others outline PSL gate charges are exorbitant with the cheapest ticket going for USD$3 for the rest of the ground, USD$5 for the wings and USD$10 for the VIP.
They argue that they were hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic at the same time they cite the country’s prevailing economic hardships.
Albeit, the case seems a bit different for the former Warriors head coach who over the weekend said the poor attendance was because of the unappealing football by the local clubs.
Mapeza revealed this on Saturday after his charges overcame bottom placed Bulawayo City 0-2 at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.
“To be honest, the quality of football in our country is going down massively. Most clubs can’t play two or three complete touches, it’s just two passes and the ball is sent forward,” the ex-Galatasaray midfielder said.
“Of course, there are teams that have been winning games but then the performance is not attractive. The ball is always played from the goalkeeper to the centre striker and then we say fans are not coming to watch football, what do you want them to watch?
“Teams that can’t make two, three or five complete touches? Who wants to come and watch such kind of football?
“I have to be honest with you (journalists) the standards of football in our country are going down massively, maybe the problem is with us coaches that our mentality is much on the results because maybe club bosses are also demanding instant results but without looking at the quality of football being played.
“We don’t have an identity of what type of football do we play as a nation. What type of football do we play in Zimbabwe?”
Mapeza who embarked on a rebuilding exercise after offloading several senior players in January has a squad composed of many youthful players though with a few senior players who survived the chop.
Adding to his comments the ex-Warriors skipper said he wants to teach his youthful players how to play quality football.
“I want to teach these boys how to play football, I can’t leave these boys not knowing how to play football.” Mapeza said. Nehanda Radio