Blessing Malinganiza and Shelly Guni
LOCAL coaches have expressed delight with the announcement of return of fans to football matches by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
SRC, in a communique, yesterday said they have approved a request by Zifa to have 2000 fans attend the ongoing Chibuku Super Cup matches.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) hereby gives you notice, following your application, that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has approved and granted a special waiver for your application to have 2 000 fully vaccinated spectators during Chibuku Super Cup Matches.
“Please note that these Covid-19 preventative and containment measures must be observed at all times and SRC expects full compliance by all your members. Enforcement officers will monitor compliance with the stipulated conditions and any violation may result in the withdrawal of the authority and other sanctions as provided by law.
“The spectators will be required to observe and abide by the Covid-19 preventative measures failure of which will result in the approval being immediately cancelled. All enquiries should be directed to the SRC in writing,” said SRC acting director Sebastian Garikai.
And reacting to the news, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said:
“It’s always good to play football in front of fans, as it gives players that extra motivation when it comes to performance. We are all pleased with that decision from SRC.”
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya likened their relationship with fans with that of ‘water and fish’.
“I feel very excited; I think we will be the biggest beneficiaries of this move by government amongst the 18 Premier Soccer League teams.
“I think we are one of the teams with the biggest support in Zimbabwe so this is really going to go a long way especially in inspiring our boys to get results in each and every game we are going to play. I think you understand that Dynamos are like fish and water with they can’t survive without the each other and it’s been very difficult for us to survive in the environment we’ve been in.
“So this is good news for us, our players and everyone involved with our club. Our partners can now really enjoy the benefits of their investments. We are so excited that it’s been a while we played before our supporters they’re really going to help. So I’m hoping that we can be given a chance to play before them so that they can get to see our new players,” said Ndiraya.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas believes this will have a positive impact to the performance of players.
“Great to hear that fans are allowed to watch the games. I believe it will definitely impact positively on the players. You know players always want to shine when fans are in attendance. With no fans it’s like you are playing friendly games. So I applaud SRC for taking that decision. Let the games begin,” he said.
Yadah’s Genesis Mangombe said:
“This is good and we welcome the decision.it will definitely have an impact, since the supporters are vital in motivating the players as they cheer them to do well.it also brings that excitement that has been lacking during the past games.”
Shadreck Mugurasawe, head of coach of Tenax, said this will motivate players to do better.
“Yes, especially when playing at home. It’s a motivation to the players.”
Black Rhinos Herbert Maruwa said this is a positive development to football in the country.
“It’s always nice to have fans back in the stadium. The impact is huge and the players will raise their games.”