The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum have lost their appeal to the Confederation of African Football to have their last Champions League fixture against Esperance played at their home ground, Mandava Stadium, with the match to take place at Barbourfields on Saturday.
The Zimbabwean champions had pleaded with the continental football governing body to reconsider their decision to move their clash with the Tunisians at Emagumeni. Caf however turned down that appeal and Pure Platinum Play will use Barbourfields Stadium as their home ground one more time.
Chido Chizondo, the FC Platinum media and liaison officer confirmed on Wednesday that the appeal had been turned down by Caf with the match to be played at Barbourfields.
“As mentioned yesterday, we did send through an appeal to Caf so that we would be able to play our match against Esperance at Mandava Stadium. This has however been turned down this afternoon and we will be playing at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday,’’ Chizondo said.
Since they were looking to treat their fans in Zvishavane on Saturday by hosting the African champions, Chizondo said they were disappointed with the Caf decision but they will comply with the directive to have the match in Bulawayo.
“We are saddened by this development, our hope was to bring the African champions into Zvishavane so that our own community can have an experience of African football. However we will conform with to the Caf request,’’ said Chizondo.
FC Platinum had initially been informed by Caf that they can use Mandava for their last match but at the beginning of this week they were told that the match should now be played at Barbourfields.
The Zimbabwean champions are looking to end their campaign on a high note with a positive result. Norman Mapeza’s men are at the bottom of the log with two points, secured from draws with Orlando Pirates.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum, who resumed training on Tuesday in Zvishavane will shift base to Bulawayo on Thursday with the Tunisians due to arrive in the City of Kings on Friday