HARARE – In a bid to attract a full house for Sunday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between the Warriors and Liberia, Zifa have pegged the cheapest ticket at $3.
Normally, international matches and even some of the big games in the domestic Castle Lager Premiership fans have to pay at least $5 for the cheapest ticket.
While a ticket for the rest of the ground is going for $3 at the National Sports Stadium, entry into Bays 15-18 will cost $5 while VIP tickets are going for $20.
Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela yesterday revealed to the Daily News that they considered the economic environment currently prevailing hence the decision not to increase entry charges.
“We appeal to our multitude of fans to come in large numbers and support our national team. We believe $3 is affordable, hence our appeal to fans to fill the giant National Sports Stadium,” Gwesela said.
With a cash crisis currently crippling the Zimbabwean economy Zifa have, however, not made provisions for the general public to use mobile or plastic money to pay their way into the venue.
Point of sale (POS) machines will only be available at the VIP entrance.
“We are working on having POS machine at all gates for our future matches but for this weekend’s game, it’s no longer possible,” Gwesela said.
“We believe $3 is affordable and that is why we did not increase the charge but we are definitely working to have POS machines in the forthcoming games.”
Meanwhile, Polokwane City goalkeeper George Chigova believes the Warriors first game against Liberia is likely to set the tone on how the team will fare in their bid to make a successive return to the Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon.
Chigova, who is making a return to the Warriors fold after almost a three-year absence, has challenged his teammates to kick-start their campaign on a positive note.
“I think this is going to be a big test for us. We need to get maximum points, we don’t want to fail at home,” Chigova revealed to the Daily News.
“I think what we really need to do in this game is to keep focused throughout the entire match. Getting a win in the first match is very important as it will set the tone for the campaign. I also think we have an added advantage of playing at home.”
Chigova also backed the current crop of Warriors to succeed.
“I have confidence in the current players that we have. It’s a mix of experienced players and youngsters,” he said.
“Everyone is working hard and I have no doubt that we can do well. The coaches are also very supportive and if we can take what we are doing at training to Sunday’s match I don’t see us failing. Anything is possible but we just need to work hard.”
Chigova’s last dance with the national team was when the Warriors reached the semi-finals of the 2014 African Nations Championships (Chan) before being replaced by Tatenda Mkuruva after Kalisto Pasuwa took over as national team coach from Ian Gorowa.
The former Dynamos goalkeeper was rewarded for his stellar season with Rise and Shine where he kept 10 clean sheets in a barnstorming season that saw his team finishing sixth — ahead of giants Orland Pirates, who ended their campaign outside the top eight for the first time in the PSL era.
Chigova had appeared resigned to missing out again on the chance to represent the Warriors when caretaker coach Norman Mapeza overlooked him when the provisional squad was initially announced.
However, CAPS United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda was injured in his club’s African Champions League win over USM Alger paving the way for Chigova to return to the national team.