BY MICHAEL KARIATI
The sports ban that took away our most beloved football has now been lifted and our favourite sport is coming back.
Surely, the Warriors’ World Cup journey remains the talking point at the moment, but we cannot run away from the fact that we missed our domestic football so much.
We are excited that football is coming back and there is every reason to after our entertainment was taken away by a ban that should never have been in the first place.
Goals were raining, individual flair was aplenty and above all, the big boys, Chicken Inn, Dynamos, FC Platinum, Highlanders, and Ngezi Platinum Stars, were turning on the style that made the difference between serious title contenders and the pretenders.
Even the stars too shone like a beacon with Denver Mukamba, Ishmael Wadi, Ronald Chinyengetere, Bruno Mtigu, and Shadreck Nyahwa, the major talking point before football was pushed off the field of play.
We hope this time around, the game will be allowed to run its distance — without disruptions — until the time comes when one of Chicken Inn, Dynamos, FC Platinum, Highlanders, or Ngezi Platinum Stars, lift the Chibuku Super Cup,
Some might want to ask where is Caps United among this pick of the crop? The answer is simple, the Green Machine do not fit the profile of Chibuku Super Cup winners based on their display before the game was unceremoniously halted.
That, however, is a debate for another day as the break did not change anything on the Chibuku Super Cup standings and those who were at the top remain so while those who were at the bottom cannot expect a miracle to change the status quo.
For Caps United themselves and the others like Hwahwa, Triangle, Herentals, Bulawayo City, and Bulawayo Chiefs, the ban was a blessing in disguise as it gave them some breathing space after a string of poor showings.
In fact, for Hwahwa, it was the chance to escape the continuous beatings and an opportunity for a rethink on how to approach the task at hand and are expected to return with renewed vigour.
Lucky enough for them and probably for Herentals, Bulawayo City and Bulawayo Chiefs, there is no relegation from the Chibuku Super Cup and they will be back again in 2022.
However, we should look forward to an exciting Chibuku Super Cup show with the hope that football will not be placed under another ban as something like that could prove fatal.
The sponsors have been watching events unfold from a distance and there is no way they are going to entertain further disruptions to their investment.
Delta Beverages are the only sponsors we have and losing them could be a tragedy that football will live with as long as the game lives in this country.
The football family should continue — as was the case before — to observe Covid 19 protocols as outlined by both the government and the WHO so that there are no grounds for another ban.
We need a strong Warriors team for both the Chan and the Cosafa Cup and we need a strong FC Platinum for the Caf Champions League and that is possible only when we have functional domestic football.
The game is expected to return to full throttle by the end of September and the next time we should be talking about finding ways and means of bringing fans back to stadiums rather than another ban.
It surely has not been the best of years for football — and in particular for the Chibuku Super Cup — but one that looks like will end on a high and happy note for the local game.
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