5 Ways In Which FC Platinum Were Disadvantaged Going Into Caf Champions League First Leg Against As Otoho d' Oyo, Travelled More Than 456km By Road Day Before The Match - Football News (ZW)

5 Ways In Which FC Platinum Were Disadvantaged Going Into Caf Champions League First Leg Against As Otoho d' Oyo, Travelled More Than 456km By Road Day Before The Match

FC Platinum travelled to Congo Brazzavallive on the 13th of December in the hope of fulfilling their Total-Caf Champions League 2018/19 First Round stage, first leg encounter against As Otoho d' Oyo in order to meet their season target of reaching the Group Stage of the competition. Odds for succeeding past As Otoho d'Oyo which defeated the team that knocked FC Platinum in the last edition of the competition, As De Agosto (Angola), had already been very low according to local soccer pundits, team coach of CNaPS Sport (the team which Platinum defeated in the preliminary stage to progress to meet Otoho), and the coach himself Norman Mapeza who expressed doubt of conquiring the Congo side citing reasons of inexperience in Caf CL.

However, getting to Congo, the team as said in most sports reports, from the time of arrival in Congo Brazzaville, faced setbacks which were allegedly staged by their opponents, As De Otoho, in the hopes of weakening, and frustrating the Zvishavane based side before the game so that it would become easier for the home team to get their desired result.

Abnormal travel delays for the team from the time of arrival made headlines in most of Zimbabwe's Sports News Outlets, after failure by Congolese football authorities  to give out an invitation letter for the processing of visas on FC Platinum's arrival at the Maya Maya Airport, but here are five more ways in which the team got disadvantaged.

1. On the day that FC Platinum landed in Congo, Chronicle reported that, team players were served seemingly dubious news of the possibilty of a militant attack, through a translator, a soldier escorting the FC Platinum Squad from the airplane said, 'Boko Haram will be coming from across boarders of Cameroon'. The soldier who wasn't armed at the time is said to have gone away from the team's site after revealing the news only to come back moments later, fully armed. Possibly, this was a move to meant to keep #PPP unsecure during their stay in the country because of the fear of the probability of an attack.

2. Having spent a night in Brazzaville, FC Platinum had to hire several taxis to travel to their training venue after their bus 'disappeared'. The usual travel arrangements for going to training venues in the Caf CL include a bus, a staged deprivation of one would further add on to the frustration faced in travelling by the team and guarantee their low moral ahead of the first leg encounter.

3. FC Platinum technical team complained of an extremely bumpy and disoriented pitch which made it hard for the for the players to train, and given the journey which their team spokesperson described as intense, Norman Mapeza lamented his players' physical fitness, saying most of his player's legs were swollen after training sessions.

4. On the day before the match, FC Platinum's flight to Owando Aerodrome (the landing space in Owando the town with the match venue) had to be aborted as soon as the team sat into the airplane. The technical team at the airport cited bad weather conditions as it began to drizzle just when FC Platinum sat into the airplane, instead FC Platinum were served a shuttle all the way to Owando 426 kilometers (265 miles) away from Brazzaville, travelling long distances by road in restricted transportation would obviously affect the physical being of the players who would otherwise be expected to be at their best going into the match. Had FC Platinum wanted to travel later at that night during that day, lighting at the airport they would land at in Owando was said by the airport technical team to be in a diplorable state, and the plane wouldn't be able to land in darkness. FC Platinum's Chairman Evans Mthombeni revealed just before their take off to Omwando that if conditions in hospitality didn't change, Platinum were considering moving the match from Sunday to Monday in order to have their players rest a little before the match (Caf rules allows postponing matches with just a day for in case of setbacks).

5. In the match, As Otoho d' Oyo were awarded 16 freekicks in the first 20 minutes, and at the 21st minute, the was awarded its only goal of the match, a controversial one, as their two players appeared to be in an offside position. And, on FC Platinum's side, Gift Mbweti was denied a clear penalty, after he was hacked down in Otoho's 18 area when he was just about to score. If these events in the match weren't a coincidence, according to Cafs' pre-match suspicions, Caf which had sent a referee's assessor prior to the match, something which is done only when Caf is strongly suspicious of foul-play in match officiating, then the match officials had a hand in landing As De Otoho a draw at home.

However, the practice of home teams practicing sabotaging visiting opponents through bad hospitality is not new in the  Caf Champions League competition, as there have been numerous reports from other similar events.

The teams play their second encounter of the CL stage today at Mandava in the town of Zvishavane.
Total-Caf Champions League First-Round Second Leg:

FC Platinum vs As Otoho d' Oyo
Mandava Stadium

You can watch the match on DSTV's Super Sport.

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