Blow for five-a-side soccer team

This follows an inspection by the continental soccer controlling body of the Chitungwiza Aquatics Centre playing field which they deemed not fit to host matches of such magnitude.

Five-A-Side Soccer League, president Joseph Mabhonzo, confirmed they will now have to travel to Johannesburg this weekend for the match since the aquatics centre field has been declared not suitable to host World Cup matches.

The Zimbabweans who lost the first leg 4-2 in South Africa two weeks ago, were supposed to host the return leg and use home advantage but this will no longer be the case following the Caf ruling.

Surprisingly Zimbabwe hosted and beat Sudan in the first round at the same Aquatics Centre venue. The Sudanese also opted to play their home match in Harare since they do not have up to standard five-a-side soccer facilities.

Five-A-Side team manager, Michael Musakwiza, said it was unfortunate that they will no longer be able to use home advantage but said the team was still confident of overturning the 5-3 deficit and reach the final qualifying round for the finals to be held in Thailand In November.

The winner between South Africa and Zimbabwe  wil face Libya for that vital ticket to the finals to Thailand.

Zimbabwe is making a return to international five-a-side football after 14 years of absence due to financial constraints.

The Zimbabwean team’s last international engagement was at the 1998 Africa Championships in Egypt where they finished third and missed out of the World Cup as only the top two teams from the continent tournament were guaranteed a place at the global football festival.