Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo has promised to bring some senior national team games to Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium in a move that is expected to be warmly embraced by soccer crazy footballers lovers in and around the City.
Kamambo, who is in Istanbul, Turkey attending the third edition of the Fifa executive football summit that kicked off yesterday, made the pledge via his Twitter account as he responded to calls by one football fan, Lawrence Maphosa, to bring the senior national team to Bulawayo instead of always hosting its games in Harare.
Maphosa said Zifa should have brought the Warriors’ last Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo Brazzaville to Bulawayo next month.
“The Warriors are a national team for all of us and we will bring them to Bulawayo in the future,” responded Kamambo.
He, however, said stadium capacity for the crucial March qualifier against Congo Brazzaville which the Warriors have to win or avoid a defeat in order to book a place into the finals in Egypt in June this year, made them settle for the bigger National Sports Stadium which is expected to be filled to the brim.
“Stadium capacity is key as we expect Zimbabweans from all walks of life to come and support (the squad), this is why we could only use the NSS for a game of this magnitude. Please come,” said Kamambo.
Barbourfields Stadium last played host to a competitive senior national team game way back in 2000 when Zimbabwe under Sunday Chidzambwa beat Lesotho 3-0 in the second leg of the Cosafa Cup final to eventually lift the regional tournament 6-0 on aggregate having won 3-0 in the first leg in Maseru. The second leg was attended by 35 000 cheering fans, according to Cosafa figures.
After that final, Zifa, at the instigation of then Warriors coach, Ian Gorowa, then scheduled a low key friendly match against Mozambique in 2013 which was part of preparations for the 2014 African Nations Championship finals in South Africa the following year.
After the end of the Afcon qualifiers next month, Zimbabwe will then embark on the Chan qualifiers where they were drawn against Mauritius in the second round qualifier and a potentially exciting duel against South Africa in the final race for the finals in Ethiopia next year.
It will certainly be a dream match if Bafana Bafana were to clash with the Warriors at Emagumeni.