By Sheldon Hakata
COVID-19 safety procedures and guiding principles will see the game soccer returning to empty stadia without fans.
Premiership clubs will not enjoy the noisy crowds.
The noisy Vietnam and Soweto stands will be, for the first time, quite.
Footballing will be kick-started by the Chibuku Super Cup.
Winning the biggest knockout tournament comes with a ticket to play in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The season’s groundbreaker has been sponsored to the tune of US$375 000.
The knockout tournament gets the domestic season rolling tomorrow.
The 18 PSL teams have been divided into four groups.
All matches for Group One, whose participants are Dynamos, CAPS United, Yadah FC, ZPC Kariba, Herentals and two-time Chibuku Super Cup champions Harare City, will be played at the National Sports Stadium.
The Bulawayo giants are in Group Two, together with Chicken Inn, Bulawayo Chiefs and Bulawayo City.
Black Rhinos have been drawn in Group Three, playing at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare and featuring Manica Diamonds, Tenax and Cranborne Bullets.
In Group Four, Ngezi Platinum Stars are in the same pool with newcomers Whawha, FC Platinum and former Chibuku Super Cup champions Triangle United. The group matches will start at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane.
Highlanders Football Club are the reigning champions of the Chibuku Super Cup after beating Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0, courtesy of a Prince Dube solitary strike at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo in 2019.
Highlanders returnee and former FC Platinum midfielder, who won a league championship title with CAPS United in 2016 before clinching the 2019 Soccer Star of the Year accolade, Joel Ngodzo, is yet to get an international authorisation on his comeback to Bosso from Zambian side Buidcon in March.
The Highlanders coach, Mandla Mpofu, had selected his team arrangement around the gifted midfielder who can only feature in the local league as from July 1 when the mid-year transfer window opens.
Just like Joel ‘Josta’ Ngodzo, the duo of returning Tanzanian side Simba FC defender Peter Muduwa and new signing midfielder Winston Mhango won’t be able to feature in the cup competition since they also have not been cleared.
FC Platinum are reigning Castle Lager Premiership champions after defeating Harare giants CAPS United for the title on the final day of the 2019 campaign at the giant National Sports Stadium in the capital Harare.
Chibuku Super Cup 2021
Saturday, May 22
Bulawayo City vs Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium 11:00 hrs
Whawha vs FC Platinum at Mandava 13:00 hrs
CAPS United vs Yadah at National Sports Stadium 15:00 hrs
Tenax CS FC vs Black Rhinos FC Sakubva Stadium 15:00hrs
Sunday, May 23
Ngezi Platinum Stars FC vs Triangle United FC at Mandava Stadium 15:00hrs
Harare City FC vs ZPC Kariba FC at National Sports Stadium 11:00hrs
Bulawayo Chiefs FC vs Highlanders FC at Barbourfields Stadium 13:00hrs
Herentals FC vs Dynamos FC at National Sports Stadium 15:00hrs
Manica Diamonds FC vs Cranborne Bullets FC at Sakubva Stadium 15:00hrs