By MatchDay Zimbabwe
Replica jerseys of visiting ABSA premiership giants Orlando Pirates have been sold out in Bulawayo ahead of its CAF champions league Group B clash with FC Platinum.
With a considerable number of Bulawayo fans being ardent followers of the South African premiership and unrepentant fans of Pirates which they relate to home team Highlanders, Platinum will have to be at its best to convince the multitude to switch allegiance at Barbourfields on Saturday.
A sports clothing trader at Bulawayo’s Unity Village, Nozzy Ndebele confirmed that Orlando Pirates jerseys had been sold.
“All along English league jerseys were the ones which were being bought but since Monday Orlando Pirates’ had been selling like hot cakes.
“We had been stocking many Orlando Pirates jerseys but people were not buying them only to be surprised this week,” said Ndebele.
“I do not follow football at all and only got to understand the reason behind the rise in Pirates jersey demand from a friend today.”
Social media has been awash with debates as to whether Highlanders fans should support FC Platinum or Orlando Pirates.
One of Bulawayo’s largest printing companies Evolution Graphix told MatchDay Zimbabwe that they had not received orders of such a magnitude in a long time, especially for a single club.
“We have printed Orlando Pirates jerseys and other team jerseys before, but this week it was our first time to print such a large number in such a short space of time as demand was extremely high,” said Evolution Graphix’s Sean Dick, raising speculation that BF could be filled to the brim by Orlando Pirates sympathisers.
Pirates wear a black and white stripe like that of Bosso, which is the most followed club in the southern region.
Bosso also copied Amabhakaniya’s signature crossed hands salute to its fans.
BF even has a wing named after a suburb from which the South African giants hail from, Soweto, which usually houses Highlanders’ hardcore fans.
The last time Orlando Pirates played in Zimbabwe they overcame Caps United 1-0 in the similar competition some 20 years ago.