FC Platinum fans are grieving over CAF decision to suspend their fortress Mandava stadium from hosting African football powerhouses in group stage matches that will begin on the 12th of January against Orlando Pirates.
The dream of hosting football power houses at Mandava was talk of the community when champions FC Platinum stormed into the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
FC Platinum was, however, dealt a heavy blow when CAF advised through ZIFA they could not use their home ground for the mini league matches.
While officials at Pure Platinum Play are disappointed by the move to see their side relocate to Barbourfields stadium in their first match on 12 January against the Irvin Khoza-owned side Orlando Pirates, it is the owners of game, the fans who feel more hard done.
“We are depressed by the move to play at an alternative venue, especially considering the decision came at the 11th hour, but we should not sit and mourn Mandava. The players, the team and the technical team should remain focused to grind a result against Orlando Pirates,” said Evans Mthombeni, FC Platinum Chairman.
With the value that comes with this stage of the competition, FC Platinum were left with two options in their courtyard of using either of the two approved stadiums, the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields.
Pure Platinum Play opted for the latter.
Mandava stadium was condemned on the grounds of a small media centre which cannot accommodate 50 journalists as stipulated by the stage of the competition.
One of the group stage opponents Esperance of Tunisia will be no stranger at Barbourfields having tasted the turf a decade ago against Bulawayo giants Highlanders in the same competition.