Heads must roll at FC Platinum
FOR a team that prides itself in excellence, FC Platinum’s humiliating exit from the African Champions League last week should jolt the club hierarchy into reviewing their internal systems.
The Zimbabwean champions were massacred 4-0 by Tanzanian giants Simba Sports Club in the final qualifying round of Africa’s premier inter-club competition. FC Platinum are alleging that Simba tampered with their Covid-19 PCR tests which forced five of their key players and three members of the technical staff to miss last Wednesday’s game in Dar es Salaam.
In a normal situation, heads should roll at Mandava Stadium with an investigation carried out to find out why the FC Platinum team doctor and team manager slept on duty and allowed the hosts to take charge of PCR testing processes?
Before travelling to Dar es Salaam, these two individuals should have done their homework and identified the certified laboratories which would conduct the tests on the FC Platinum players.
Once in Tanzania, the team doctor in particular should have ensured the players and entire delegation were tested in his presence. From there, he should have remained at the laboratory observing all the testing of the samples to ensure there was no outside influence.
However, this did not take place and FC Platinum only received the results two hours before kick-off with goalkeeper Petros Mhari, defender Lawrence Mhlanga, midfielder Rainsome Pavari, winger Silas Songani and forward Eli Illunga testing positive. The quintet was all in coach Norman Mapeza’s starting XI and this forced a complete overhaul of the game plan.
Since time immemorial, teams on the continent especially those from West Africa are notorious for using underhand tactics to throw their opponents off the tracks. Despite missing five key players, FC Platinu showed some glimpses of their quality but were let down by their lack of mental toughness in dealing with adversity they faced on the pitch.
When the match officials awarded Simba a hotly contested penalty in the first half, the visitors’ players blew their gaskets as they threatened to walk off the pitch. The platinum miners should have shown maturity and composure because even after Simba scored the penalty, they were still in with a good shout as an away goal could change the complexion of the tie.