ZIMBABWE’S football champions FC Platinum on Wednesday started engaging the government, local football custodians Zifa and Premier Soccer League in their quest to have their players resume group training.
This comes in the wake of Confederation of African Football (Caf)’s release of the 2020/2021 Total Champions League dates which will see the Zvishavane-based football outfit plunge into battle over the weekend of November 20-22.
Owing to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, since March local football clubs have been inactive, a development that saw this year’s local football action, which was set to start at the end of March, being put on hold.
“We are between a rock and a hard place. We are living in Covid-19 times, the new normal that has seen our players not engaging in group training. Following the announcements of the Champions League dates by CAF, on Wednesday we started engaging the government, Zifa and PSL in our quest to start group training. Once we get feedback that we can resume group training it will be all systems go for us,” said FC Platinum media liaison officer Chido Chizondo.
Caf said the first registration window for participating clubs would open on October 21 and close on November 5, while the second and final registration period before the preliminary matches would run from November 6-19 ahead of the first leg of the preliminary round.
The second leg of the preliminary round will be over the weekend of November 27-29.
While Pure Platinum Play have been bossing the local football scene, judging from their two African Safari campaigns, the free-spending Zvishavane football outfit has been failing to make an impression in the jungles of African football.
The 2018/ 2019 Caf Champions League calendar saw Pure Platinum Play make their debut dance in the group stages of this inter club football contest where they did battle against South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Horoya Athletic Club of Guinea and Tunisia’s Esperance.
In that regard, after playing six group matches, Platinum who were then under the guidance Norman Mapeza managed to collect a paltry two points from a possible 18 (11% success rate) after they drew with the Buccaneers nil all in their home fixture and 2-2 away.
They lost the other four matches (FC Platinum 0 Horoya 1, Horoya 2 Platinum 0, Esperance 2 FC Platinum 0, and Platinum 1 Esperance 2) meaning it was a campaign that saw Pure Platinum Play manage to score three goals in 540 minutes of action where they conceded nine times to leave them at a goal difference of minus six.
Positive results continued to elude the platinum miners in the 2019/ 2020 Caf Champions’ League group stages.
The coming in of Dutch gaffer Pieter de Jongh later in the campaign did not help as the platinum miners finished the previous campaign winless, managing a single home draw and falling victim at the hands of Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia, Al Hilal of Sudan and Egyptian giants Al Ahly.