FC Platinum to ‘play Caf matches at Barbourfields’

FC Platinum are likely to play their Total Caf Champions League Group B matches at Barbourfields Stadium since their fortress Mandava Stadium has no floodlights.

The pool games get underway on January 11 with the Zimbabwean champions set to play host to Orlando Pirates before flying out to Tunisia to take on defending champions Esperance a week later.

Despite Mandava Stadium being homologated to host preliminary games of the same competition, it emerged yesterday that the issue of floodlights was critical for the Group games as some of the matches could actually be played at night and Caf, through the director of communications department Nathalie Rabe confirmed that they will be sending an instructor to do the inspections.

“Yes we would be sending very soon an instructor to conduct an inspection visit of the facilities there in preparation for their match,” wrote Rabe in an e-mailed response to Chronicle Sport.

While Rabe did not say the exact date when they will be sending an instructor, impeccable sources said the inspection will be done on Friday (tomorrow) and the platinum miners have already resigned to the reality of coming to Bulawayo for their African Safari.

“We understand they are coming on Friday to do the inspections.

“We know that Mandava Stadium meets almost all the requirements except the issue of floodlights and given the time limit, we would not be able to install the lights in time for our opening match and that leaves the possibility of using Barbourfields Stadium almost a certainty,” said the source.

It also emerged yesterday that Caf do separate inspections once a team qualifies for Group games because of the magnitude of the games.

FC Platinum started their preparations for the pool games yesterday and now that they are likely to play in the city of Kings and Queens, Norman Mapeza’s charges might shift their training base to Bulawayo. – Chronicle