Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS could have received a huge boost ahead of their Chibuku Super Cup semi-final clash with FC Platinum tomorrow after the Premier Soccer League announced a reduction in gate charges.
The two clubs clash at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
The cheapest ticket will now cost US$3, from a high of US$10, earlier this week.
The fans can also pay using the local currency at the prevailing bank rate.
The Glamour Boys have been playing in front of a handful of supporters despite the green light from the Sports and Recreation Commission, to fill the stadia with a third of the sitting capacity, with fully vaccinated spectators.
This means the National Sports Stadium, with an estimated sitting capacity of 60 000 would be allowed to let in, at least, 18 000 spectators. But, many fans stayed at home in recent matches, because they felt the US$20, for the cheapest tickets of the quarter-finals, was too high.
Yesterday, the league leaders announced a new ticket price regime, in which they reverted to the 2019 pricing.
The ticket for the rest of ground is now pegged at US$3 while the grand stands cost US$5 and US$10 for the VIP.
The league said they reached the decision after wider consultations and will only review the ticket price structure next year.
“The Premier Soccer League has engaged various stakeholders, including club supporters’ associations, concerning gate charges for PSL matches.
“While the PSL notes that clubs suffered huge financial loses during the Covid-19 pandemic. and continue to incur a lot of costs in preparation for matches, we also understand the need to make our matches appealing and affordable to football fans who are the heartbeat of the game,” said PSL in a statement yesterday.
The new ticket prices become effective today as newboys Cranborne Bullets host Ngezi Platinum, in the first semi-final, at the giant stadium.
But, the PSL are likely to first see the real benefits tomorrow, when DeMbare host 2014 Chibuku Super Cup winners, FC Platinum. The Glamour Boys are yet to win the competition, since it returned on the radar, but they played the final, and lost to Harare City, six years ago.
Dynamos beat Black Rhinos in the quarter-finals last week to complete 11 games unbeaten, in the Chibuku Super Cup, this year.
“We are playing two competitions and all the two competitions are very important for us,’’ said coach Tonderai Ndiraya.
“We want to fight and get to the finals of the Cup.
‘’Then, of course, if you get to the final, you will have a good chance of winning it.
“There is no secret that we are a big team and a big team is expected to win Cups every time.
‘’So, the expectations are very high.
“We understand all that and we have discussed all this with the players.
‘’The mentality to go all the way is there and you can see by the way we have gone about our business so far, in the 12 games (including one league game), we have played. “We have won eight games and we have drawn four. And, if I am to be honest, some of the games were not as pleasing as we would have wanted them to be.
“But, what is important, is that the job is being done.’’
DeMbare’s pedigree will need to pass a tough test tomorrow, if they hope to achieve their dream.
FC Platinum are in fine form, after topping their group, and winning some of the games with outrageous margins.
In contrast, DeMbare have had to grind results, in some games.
Norman Mapeza, the FC Platinum coach, yesterday said he was looking forward to good competition, from the Glamour Boys.
“We are facing a very good team on Sunday. If you look at their previous record in the Chibuku Super Cup, they are a team that has been doing very well,’’ he said.
‘’We are playing a team which has not been conceding goals of late.
“It clearly shows that they are really organised, in terms of defending. But we have been working hard and what is left is for us to go out there and enjoy the game.’’
Winners of the Chibuku Super Cup will pocket US$75 000 in prize money, paid in local currency, at the prevailing official rate on the day.
They also get the ticket to represent Zimbabwe in the next edition of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Runners-up are set to get US$50 000.
The two losing semi-finalists will each walk away with US$25 000.
The teams which fell in the quarter-finals got US$15 000 each while the 10 teams, which failed to go past the group stages, received US$7 000 each.
According to the 2021 Chibuku Super Cup rules and regulations, the Premier Soccer League must pay the prize money within seven days after the end of each stage of the tournament.
Chibuku Super Cup semi-final fixtures
Cranborne Bullets v Ngezi Platinum Stars (NSS)
Dynamos v FC Platinum (NSS)