By Lloyd Takawira
While the glits and glamour that characterize domestic football was a phenomena in past seasons, this year’s football return could not spur much eagerness.
Fans have been kept away from the stadia due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday the Chibuku Challenge Cup roared into life however fans seem to have lost their mojo.
Bustop TV interviewed a number of fans with some oblivious to the return of the much loved game to the domestic scene.
A scenario which some adent fans blamed on the football authorities for not doing enough to raise the tempo and investing in popularizing the return of soccer.
40 year old Jerrymore Mutangadura said following a year long sabbatical the matches could have been opened to fans.
“I’m not happy that we are not going to be able to attend the matches as supporters. I’m a Dembare fan. Kuti bhora for me , is to adone my blue regalia , then ndonyatsopinda muground,” he said.
While the coronavirus pandemic has grounded everything, the return of domestic football could have been heralded by relaxation of restrictions added one Memory Muganhu a staunch Kepekepe supporter.
“You know how l love to have attended our Kepekepe matches. l love the vibe, the madness, the shouting . When you are in the stadium you feel good.”
Zvishavane resident, Stanley Mutambasere a Platinum supporter said despite his team thumbing Whawha the absence of fans overshadowed the glamorous match .
“I’m happy that my team won today. However, l could not get the opportunity to witness the match live . What makes football interesting is the fact that you get to enjoy the fan madness in the stadium.”
For 25 year old Haward Tamai Zunze since cases of coronavirus pandemic have declined a sizable number of fans should have been allowed to watch matches.
“As you can see I’m here at my base at a time my team is playing. Had it been that fans are allowed in to the stadium. You couldn’t have seen me here my brother. I rarely miss a game “
Another Trust Mupuma Snr could not fathom not watching his son play for one of the domestic clubs .
“You know my son plays for Whahwa FC. So l had to watch the match on TV. Had it not been that. l would have loved to attend physically the match. It’s been a year since our boys set their foot into the pitch,” he said.
Surprising were some supporters who seemed not aware of the return to action of the domestic league .
Journalist and domestic football adent follower Tafadzwa Murangamwa attributed the low vibe to Zifa and PSL chaotic planning .
“I believe the game was not popularized enough . You can recall how much time it has taken us to have domestic football. Other countries are playing football . For us it has to invite threats from FIFA for football to return.”
Speaking on his podcast ,veteran sports journalist and broadcaster Charles Mabika said he had predicted surprises as teams are coming from a long break.
Mabika opined that FC Platinum start as favourites to win this one because they are still the best team in the country, but again cup games are unpredictable.
A total of 40 matches are lined up in the US$375 000 cup where winners and runner-ups will proceed to the quarter-final.
The winners will pocket US$75 000. The runner-up will pocket US$50,000 while the two losing semi-finalists will walk away with US$25,000 each.
The losing quarter-finalists will get US$15,000 while the 10 teams that won’t make it past the group stages will get US.