Storm brews over Chibuku final venue

Sports Reporter
HARARE CITY coach Mark Harrison torched a storm over the weekend when he questioned the choice of the Chibuku Super Cup final venue in which his club face Triangle at Gibbo on Saturday.

The much-travelled Harrison, who has had stints in various international leagues, voiced his concern over the Chibuku Super Cup final venue after his side’s 0-2 loss to Highlanders at Barbourfields last Sunday.

“We will see about the Chibuku final. In as far as I know we are playing at Gibbo, so they (Triangle) have the advantage already.

“They have been given the chance to play at the home field, which I think is wrong, we should be playing at a neutral venue.

“We will probably go to that game as underdogs now seeing that they are playing at home,” a disappointed Harrison noted.

Although the Premier Soccer League, in conjunction with the sponsors have the prerogative of determining the date and venue of the final, the idea of waiting to know the identity of the finalists before naming the venue has also come under scrutiny.

The PSL announced Gibbo as the venue last Friday after it had been confirmed Triangle would play Harare City in this year’s final.

Former Warriors star midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha, who had a long spell at Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa yesterday questioned the logic behind PSL’s choice of the Chibuku Cup final venue.

“The question is why should we play a final at someone’s home. You go to England the final is at Wembley, in South Africa you have a final at Moses Mabhida even when either Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates are involved.

“The organisers of the tournament had a lot of alternative venues which are not Gibbo the home of a finalist.

I think we should do what’s proper for both the finalists,” said Nengomasha.

It has been the trend in previous Chibuku Super Cup finals where one team has enjoyed home advantage.

FC Platinum played the 2014 final against Harare City at their favourite hunting ground at Mandava and in 2016 Ngezi Platinum hosted Pure Platinum Play and won the Cup at the Baobab in Mhondoro.

In 2017 Harare City enjoyed home advantage and beat How Mine at Rufaro to clinch their second title since the tournament’s re-introduction in 2014.

Yet in South Africa, organisers of the Premiership’s two knock-out tournaments, Nedbank and Telkom, consult the finalists before announcing the final venue.

“The final match will be played at a venue decided by the Organising Committee after consulting the competing teams,” reads article 7.2 of the Telkom Knock-out tournament’s rules and regulations’’.

According to the Nedbank Cup rules, the final match is played at a venue decided by the organising committee after consulting the competing clubs.

The rules also go on to state that this decision may be made before the competition or at any stage thereafter, provided all the clubs still remaining in the competition at the time are consulted.

However, locally, the Premier Soccer League only consults the sponsors Delta Beverages when deciding the venue of the Chibuku Super Cup final.

PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare yesterday explained the decision to play the final at Gibbo.

“In terms of the rules and regulations of the tournament, it is the PSL that decides the venue after consulting the sponsors Delta Beverages who also have their products to market.

“In this case it was decided the Chibuku Super Cup final should go where it hasn’t gone before,” said Bare.

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