Mehluli Sibanda in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
FC PLATINUM have been dealt a blow in their quest to finally find the target in the CAF Champions League group stage with striker Albert Eonde ruled out of their penultimate tie with Orlando Pirates on Friday. The Cameroonian will not feature after a bid to secure him a visa failed.
Eonde required a visa to travel to South Africa, which had to be obtained before he came down here, and with FC Platinum making frantic efforts to secure that for him without success yesterday, they had no choice but to leave him in Harare.
FC Platinum media liaison officer, Chido Chizondo, explained how they had started the process to secure a visa for Eonde but failed.
“That was very unfortunate, we have been made to understand that North Africa and West African countries are required to apply for their visa seven days before prior to them travelling,’’ she said.
“And this involves them going for an interview, it’s a very long process, so we did not manage to meet the deadlines for that particular process to bring Eonde to South Africa.’’ Chizondo disclosed they faced a challenge when FC Platinum travelled to Guinea to face Horoya last month.
FC Platinum coach, Norman Mapeza, had remained hopeful Eonde will be able to make the trip to South Africa. Now, he has to change his plans. Gift Mbweti and Charles Sibanda are not part of the squad which travelled here and Mapeza will have to hope for goals from the likes of Mkhokheli Dube, Thomas Chideu and Ali Sadiki. FC Platinum have not scored in the four Champions League group stage fixtures they have played so far. FC Platinum had a training session under floodlights at Greek Sports Club, just a stone’s throw away from their hotel. They take on Pirates on Friday.
FC Platinum squad
Petros Mhari, Francis Tizayi, Gift Bello, Kevin Moyo, William Stima, Elvis Moyo, Raphael Muduviwa, Godknows Murwira, Devon Chafa, Farai Madhanaga, Rainsome Pavari, Kelvin Madzongwe, Never Tigere, Ali Sadiki, Rahman Kutsanzira, Perfect Chikwende, Mkhokheli Dube, Lameck Nhamo, Thomas Chideu