Football fans will heave a sigh of relief after gate charges for the Highlanders-Motor Action BancABC Sup8r Cup final at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday were slashed from $3 to $2.
Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele yesterday said the charges for the rest of the ground had been reduced following an outcry from fans and as a way of the sponsors’ tribute to the fans for the support rendered to the competition since its inception four years ago.
The fans forked out $3 for the semi-final clash between Highlanders and Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields and a disappointing crowd of about 2 000 watched the match which the Bulawayo giants won courtesy of a 59th minute strike by Graham Ncube.
“This is a moment for the football fans to enjoy and it is also a thank you to the fans for supporting the BancABC Sup8r Cup in the last four years. The other thing is that there has been an outcry from the public over the charges,” Ndebele said.
Following that gesture, Ndebele said the PSL might be considering reviewing charges for remaining league games in an effort to lure fans back to the stadia.
Fans opting for the western stands will pay $5 while those seeking the comfort of the VIP Stand will have to part with $10.
Gates will be open early and one lucky football fan on the day will drive away in a brand new Ford Ranger, courtesy of BancABC, and the first 10 000 fans into the football arena will each get a Sup8r T-shirt.
The hype for the final, the first in four years at Barbourfields since the CBZ FA Cup final between Bosso and Dynamos in 2007, starts with a road show in the city centre today, which will spill into the high-density suburbs until Saturday.
If the two teams are deadlocked after 90 minutes of regulation time, they go straight into a penalty shootout and the winner of this year’s competition walks away with $50 000 while the loser will pocket $20 000.
Motor Action beat holders Dynamos in the semi-final of the same competition.
In the quarter-finals Highlanders dismissed Caps United 1-0 at Baghdad Stadium in Kwekwe while Shabanie edged Gunners with the same scoreline at Ascot Stadium on June 25.
Dynamos beat Hwange 2-1 in the sugar-cane town of Triangle at Gibbo Stadium while Motor Action fired past Monomotapa on July 10 at Sakubva Stadium in the last eight.
Last year, Dynamos beat Caps United 3-2 in the final.