Brito raises concern over pitch conditions

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HIGHLANDERS coach Baltemar Brito

BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Baltemar Brito has urged Zifa to ensure pitch conditions at the country’s football stadia are improved for the development of the game as the Bulawayo giants head to Ascot Stadium to face WhaWha in a league game tomorrow.

The Portuguese national, who has been in the country for only six weeks, was not happy with the condition of the pitch at Baobab Stadium, where they drew 1-1 to Ngezi Platinum Stars a few weeks ago.

He, however, insists it is not an excuse for his team’s performance.

“I want to make a suggestion to the federation (Zifa) here to take care of the football fields because we have already heard that the pitch that we are going to play in in Gweru is not so good,” Brito said.

“This is one area that is difficult for us as we care about our team and when we go to play away from home, we also need to worry about our opponents’ field.”

The Uefa Champions League-winning coach as an assistant to the legendary Jose Mourinho said football fans were being shortchanged because of the pitches’ bad conditions.

“It will be good if we know about the field so that we have a good game and so that we give the fans a good game of football. We work for the fans and if we work for them they should expect good from us and if the pitch is not good we are not promoting any football here and we are not respecting the fans that are coming for the games,” Brito said.

He also pointed out that it is all about developing football, which is his main task.

“We care about football in Zimbabwe because we understand that a good pitch promotes good players. So we are worried about the fields and so are the players because we are together in this project of developing football in Zimbabwe. This is one of the main tasks right now,” the Portuguese said.

“I don’t want to sound annoying with that subject, but I am a football person and if I have come to do my best, we need to talk about the subject because the talent is abundant here, but the conditions have to be conducive to develop the talent. It is my humble suggestion.”

Highlanders are seeking their first away win this season at Ascot, against a side which has fared well on home soil, albeit sinking in the relegation zone.

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