Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Khartoum, Sudan
VETERAN FC Platinum striker Mkhokheli Dube believes the luggage incident was a blessing in disguise as it actually hardened them to be prepared to grind a result tonight against hosts Al Hilal.
The two teams open their Group B encounter at the Ali Hilaly Stadium at 9pm tonight and Dube said this while addressing members of the media at the final press conference at the 65000 seater facility last night.
“While we may be making assumptions about the reasons behind the disappearance of our luggage, this uncertainty on it being found has actually hardened us. If it was meant to distract us then tough luck, we are more than focused,” said Dube who was in the company of coach Lizwe Sweswe.
He said African football has been known to provide dramatic anti-football antics before and during the match by the hosts and as players, they were now ever ready and immune to the objectives of such archaic acts.
“Our job here is to play football and we shall do that, of course we have respect for our opponents but that is only outside the pitch,” said Dube.
Pure Platinum Play had a nasty arrival in Khartoum on Wednesday morning when all their luggage was mysteriously left behind at Bole International Airport, forcing the team to buy training shorts and stockings for their first session on Wednesday night.
Despite initial assurances that the bags will be loaded onto the first morning flight on Wednesday, they were still not available when the plane touched down at 6am and even the next three planes came without the luggage.
General manager Joseph Mususa eventually received the bags just after midnight yesterday.