Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE City, who shift their focus this weekend to the CAF Confederation Cup first match against Zambian outfit Zanaco, have been paired against ZPC Kariba in the ZNA Charities Shield semi-final match set for Nyamhunga.
The other semi-final features Highlanders against FC Platinum at Barbourfields.
The semi-final dates would be confirmed by the Premier Soccer League.
According to ZNA Charities secretary Fabion Chitungo the semi-finals have been fixtured with the need to bring fans to the stadiums.
“We are pairing the teams because we are guided by the need to fund-raise and the dates for the semi-finals we will wait for PSL’s guidance,” said Chitungo.
“We are going to have a meeting this week where we will confirm the dates but we would have loved to have these matches as early as possible. “We are aware that the big teams, which are crowd pullers, are no longer in the tournament and, in terms of fund-raising, that might not be good but we also have to take into cognisance that this means that technically they are no longer big any more.
“It is every organisers’ wish to have Dynamos and CAPS United go far in a Cup but the small teams play entertaining football and people are now aware of that.”
Chitungo said in the first round they got good crowds with each match averaging 5 000 paying fans.
Only the match in Mandava between FC Platinum and How Mine failed to attract a big crowd.
“People have been watching the Charities Shield games with 5 600 people paying to watch the Dynamos/ZPC match while 5 500 people watched Sunday’s tie between CAPS United and Harare City at Rufaro,” said Chitungo.
“The Highlanders versus Chicken Inn attracted 5 100 fans and only the match at Mandava had a poor crowd, just attracting 1 800 paying fans.”
ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who booted DeMbare out of the tournament, welcomed the draw.
“They (Harare City) are a strong side. If you look at their CAF preliminary results and the fact that they fielded two sides in two matches shows that they have depth,” said Chidzambwa.
“Harare City started pre-season before us and are ahead but we will try our level best.
“I think we need to improve if we are to overcome Harare City. We have about three weeks to go before the season starts and we are still working on fitness but we are not yet there.
“We are relying on these matches to help us in terms of fitness before the season starts.”