Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Zifa have refuted reports that 15 000 people paid to watch the Warriors’ Total Afcon qualifier against the Republic of Congo a fortnight ago, saying official figures will be released after tomorrow’s post match meeting.
The match was won 2-0 by the Warriors at a packed National Sports Stadium on February 24 and they sealed their qualification for the finals in Egypt.
“We will be releasing the official figures after the postmortem meeting of the match on Friday (tomorrow). People must not listen to rumours,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
For the first time in the history of the local game, tickets for the match were sold online via an agent Clicknpay.africa, with Zifa releasing physical tickets to various centres towards the day of the match. No tickets were sold at the match venue.
However, sources said a number of tickets eventually found their way into the black market, with a large number being sold at Copacabana in Harare on the day of the match.
“We are not sure if those tickets were accounted for and for us to hear of this 15 000 figure is really something else, especially when we all saw that the National Sports Stadium was almost full to capacity,” said the source.
Meanwhile, as the countdown to the Afcon finals draw continues, the Warriors will play against one of Pot A sides, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Senegal, in the group stages of the tournament.
They will also have to battle either Morocco, Nigeria, Algeria, Mali, Guinea or DRC, who are in Pot B.
The third member of the Warriors’ group will come from the pot that has Mauritania, Benin, Namibia, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania, who are in Pot C.
The Warriors, however, will avoid neighbours Bafana Bafana, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Burundi and Uganda in their group matches since they are all in Pot D.
The 24 teams that qualified for the Afcon finals will be drawn into six groups of four teams each during the draw on April 12.
The top two teams and the four best third placed teams will advance to the round of 16.