ZIFA have said the stage has been set for the blockbuster CAF Champions League showdown between FC Platinum and free-scoring Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields on Saturday.
The country’s football controlling body, who have the organisational rights for the match because it is an international game, have challenged fans from across the country to converge in Bulawayo and cheer the platinum miners.
Norman Mapeza and his men are venturing into virgin territory, in this tournament, and this will be their first match at this level of the game.
And the ZIFA board member, in charge of competitions, Chamu Chiwanza, says it was now all “systems go for the big match and the stage has been set for the two teams to provide us with football of high quality.
“This is the first international match, which falls under our portfolio, for our new ZIFA board and we want to ensure that everything goes to plan.
“We can assure the football loving public that they will see a different approach in terms of how things will be handled, from the parking to the security, and we want an atmosphere that will appeal to the whole family.
“Football is entertainment, it is an industry, and it has to provide value to those who come to watch the action and we believe we have two teams that will offer all that on the field of play and our role is to create an atmosphere that ensures that such a show succeeds without any hassles and we are ready for that.
“This is a very big game and you can tell from all the excitement that has come from the mainstream media and even on social media sites and we are ready for it.’’
Chiwanza said it was important that FC Platinum receive the support they deserve because they were flying the national flag.
“They are representing every one of us and we have to send a clear message that they are not walking alone in this journey,’’ said Chiwanza.
“Let’s give them the support they need and they can deliver for us.
“We need to take our football to another level and I was watching the CAF awards on Tuesday night and I was disappointed that the winners of individual awards were coming from all over the place, including South Africa, and we didn’t have anyone from our country on that podium.
“We have to ensure that is a thing of the past and that is why success is important because it breeds attention and some of our players will then be noticed and they can even get some better deals and develop into the kind of players who were being honoured.
“We have to dream big.’’