Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
AS FC Platinum plunge into battle in the CAF Champions League group match against South African giants Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields this afternoon, supporters’ grouping, Friends of the Warriors, has urged Zimbabweans to create a volcanic atmosphere which will work in favour of the Zvishavane team.
The Norman Mapeza-led team was forced to shift base for the group games after their Mandava fortress was condemned by CAF.
They are in Group B along with holders Esperance of Tunisia, Guinea’s Horoya as well as their opponents this afternoon.
Pirates command a huge following especially in Bulawayo where their relationship with Highlanders is well documented.
Whilst the Zimbabwean representatives have made their own efforts to ferry supporters from their Zvishavane base, other clubs such as Chicken Inn have been lobbying their fans to rally behind them as a sign of patriotism.
And the supporters have added their voice, encouraging each other to join hands for FC Platinum’s cause.
Friends of the Warriors president, Edward Chimedza, said the fans should put aside their club differences and unite for the good of the country’s football.
He said FC Platinum haven’t got a huge support base as other clubs like CAPS United, Dynamos and Highlanders but Zimbabweans need to unite since the team is fighting a national cause.
“As Friends of Warriors, we acknowledge that most of Zimbabwean soccer followers support Orlando Pirates in the ABSA Premiership. It’s a fact that they are charming and one of the giants of African football as per records.
“But, all that should not sway us into rallying behind them whilst they are playing one of our own. If FC Platinum go all the way or even manage to find a way to the quarter-finals, it means Zimbabwe’s football stocks will rise.
“We also very much appreciate the fact that FC Platinum are rivals to other clubs sin the domestic scene but that again cannot be good-reason enough to turn against our own team whose performance in this competition will be a yardstick to measure our domestic league’s competitiveness,” said Chimedza.
He said they have put some logistics for the Harare Chapter supporters as well as others from across the country to be able to travel to Bulawayo.
Secretary-general of the grouping, Zivanai Muwashu, said their Bulawayo colleagues, led by Lyn Green, have been lobbying supporters to come in their numbers and create an electric atmosphere at Barbourfields.