BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Zifa is bemoaning the loss of potential revenue from the upcoming block buster 2022 World Cup qualifier between the Warriors and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana at the National Sports Stadium on September 1.
Although Zifa has lost huge potential revenue from previous Warriors home matches where games have been played in empty stadiums in adherence to existing government policy aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the football federation believes it stands to lose much more during the meeting between two of southern Africa’s old football foes.
The encounter between the Limpopo rivals has often generated so much hype, resulting in a selling crowd. They last met at the National Sports Stadium about 20 years ago in an ill-fated World Cup qualifier with fans filling the imposing stadium to capacity.
While Zifa got a windfall in gate-takings, the match opened a dark chapter in Zimbabwean football history with 13 fans perishing in a stampede. “We would have liked to have fans in the stadium for this big clash. But the existing government policy does not allow fans in the stadium and consequently Zifa stands to lose potential revenue from this match. It is unfortunate there is nothing we can do as an association as we have to be guided by government policy aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. So it’s unfortunate there won’t be any fans for this big match” Gwesela said.
The Warriors will be targeting a win in their first match in the qualifiers to boost their
chances of making it to the next stage.
Follow Tawanda on Twitter @Tafitawa