Nyasa Big Bullets leave for Bulawayo, Zimbabwe today by road to face FC Platinum in CAF Champions League preliminary round second leg this Saturday. This follows an assurance of maximum security as the country’s security agencies are in a crackdown on anti-government protests.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing anti-government protests and yesterday the government deployed the army to quell the planned demonstrations in Bulawayo.
The People’s Team administration director Albert Chigoga yesterday said they got an assurance from their advance party that the situation would not affect their road trip and the match set for Barbourfields Stadium.
“We already have an advance party on the ground in Zimbabwe, which has assured us that the situation is okay for the team to travel by road,” he said.
Bullets are expected to spend a night in Harare today before proceeding to Bulawayo tomorrow, according to Chigoga.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said they had also inquired from Malawi Embassy in Harare and Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) who had assured them that it was safe.
“We have liaised with the embassy and Zimbabwe FA. They [Bullets] will also get a police escort once they arrive. We are just finalising from where they will be escorted—whether at Nyamapanda border or in Harare,” said Gunda.
The first leg played at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre ended goalless and Bullets need to win or secure any goals draw to proceed to the second round.
The winner of the two-legged qualifier will play either Simba FC of Tanzania or Uniao Desportiva do Songo of Mozambique in the next stage.
Bullets were booted out in the preliminary round in the last edition of the competition by Kenyan giants Gor Mahia.
Platinum, on the other hand, reached the group stages where they were in Group B alongside South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Horoya of Equatorial Guinea and then reigning champions Esperance of Tunisia.
They only managed two draws against Pirates.