The Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League yesterday released the fixture schedule for the last four, where Harare City and Ngezi Platinum will host FC Platinum and Highlanders at Mandava and Barbourfields on Saturday and Sunday respectively. FC Platinum and Highlanders will effectively be away at their own home grounds.
City and Ngezi were drawn to play at home during the competition’s draw, conducted in the capital recently. Harare City coach, Moses “Bambo” Chunga said,
If I say I feel at home, I should be at home with the supporters behind me. I can’t say I’m at home when the whole stadium is against me. They are just coddling us, but the truth of the matter is we are not at home, we are away. But do we have a choice? The administrators have done their job and, as coaches, we will have to do ours of preparing the team for all the circumstances.
Ngezi Platinum coach, Tonderai Ndiraya was equally shocked by the PSL’s decision to have his team travel to Bulawayo for their “home” match. He said,
We don’t know the criteria that they use to choose the venues, but something doesn’t sound right to me. We can’t be at home to Highlanders at Barbourfields. Playing Highlanders at Barbourfields is clearly an advantage to them. They should come clean to say, you are playing away at Highlanders. That is the right way of putting it. A neutral venue for all participating teams would have been fairer. But there is nothing we can do about it. We have to accept the situation and prepare as much as we can for a good result. We will go there and do our best and silence their supporters.