NEW: Fans urged to boycott expensive Chibuku Super Cup matches 

28 Oct, 2021 - 16:10 0 Views
NEW: Fans urged to boycott expensive Chibuku Super Cup matches 

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda 

THE Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association (ZNSSA) has called on Government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), to intervene on the issue of exorbitant gate charges being levied for this weekend’s Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final matches.

Government has allowed 2 000 vaccinated fans to attend matches, and on Wednesday the Premier Soccer League (PSL) pegged the cheapest ticket at US$20 or Zimbabwe dollar equivalent, based on the prevailing inter-bank rate.

Those wishing to watch the action from the VVIP enclosure will have to fork out US$50.

All the four quarter-final matches will be played at Baobab stadium in Mhondoro on Saturday and Sunday.

There is a double header on Saturday, featuring Bulawayo clubs Chicken Inn and Highlanders, and the platinum mining sides – FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Chicken Inn play Ngezi Platinum Stars, before FC Platinum’s clash against Highlanders.

Another double header is on the cards Sunday with Cranborne Bullets and Harare City warming up the stage for a potentially exciting duel between Dynamos and Black Rhinos.

However, fans have reacted angrily to the prohibitive charges, with some suggesting that the pricing was done in order to screen those who will find their way back to the stadiums.

ZNSSA president Eddie ‘Mboma’ Nyatanga is disappointed that fans, mostly referred to as the ‘12th man’, have been given a raw deal by the PSL “in a move which shows that no proper consultation with the key stakeholders was done before a decision was made.”

ZNSSA has now implored their members to boycott the matches at Baobab.

“As ZNSSA we are urging our members and supporters not to attend the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals, if the PSL do not climb down on the decision to charge exorbitant fees.

“Let the games be played in an empty stadium. We cannot be taken for granted,” thundered ZNSSA secretary, Joseph Mutawu.

“As the ZNSSA, we are shocked to learn about the exorbitant fees which the PSL have pegged for the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup.

“These charges are too high for an ordinary supporter; we are saying this is totally unacceptable. We hope it is not one of those moneymaking schemes to line their pockets at the expense of soccer loving Zimbabweans.

“So, Government must intervene and rein in these soccer vampires.

“The Zimbabwean football fan has been denied entrance into stadia for a long time due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now that Government has given the green light for a maximum of 2 000 vaccinated fans to watch a soccer match in a stadium, someone at the PSL wants to stifle and hamper that directive by charging exorbitant fees.

“That’s a slap in the face for the Zimbabwean soccer supporter, and we cannot keep quiet and watch our football being strangled by greedy people,” said Mutawu.

He added:

“Going forward, the PSL must consult with the football supporters’ associations before making decisions that affect supporters.”

The last time fans attended a local soccer match was on March 14, 2020 in a Castle Lager Challenge match between 2019 league winners FC Platinum and reigning Chibuku Super Cup kings Highlanders, at Barbourfields.

FC Platinum won that game 2-0.

 

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