Zanzibar football champions Mafunzo and runners-up Jamhuri have managed to get a life-line at eleventh hour to board flights for CAF leagues return legs.
Mafunzo are supposed to travel to Maputo for their return leg tie against Muslimana de Maputo, while Jamhuri have already boarded Harare-bound flight to meet hosts Hwange FC tomorrow.
Mafunzo are competing in the Champions League while Jamhuri are flag bearers in the Confederation Cup.
The teams have been struggling to meet the travel reservations for the return leg ties.
By securing the return flights, both Mafunzo and Jamhuri have been saved from the Confederation of African Football’s wrath for no show.
While Jamhuri are enroute to Harare, Mafunzo are expected to board a flight to Maputo on March 7.
Mafunzo’s trip has been facilitated by the chairperson of sports development committee of Zanzibar (KUMIZA), Sherry Khamis, who also happens to be the Sports Council’s boss.
Khamis confirmed of the team’s successful travelling campaigns after working hard to look for their return flight tickets.
Mafunzo players are expected to travel by boat to Dar es Salaam where they are to connect a Maputo light on March 7.
Mafunzo play their match on March 10 and the kick off has been announced as 15:00 hours. Players and officials accompanying the team are expected to fly back home on the subsequent day after the match.
“We are through with both teams travel reservations and take this opportunity to thank all those who assisted in the facilitation of the journeys,” said Khamis.
Mafunzo’s secretary general Makame Fadau said preparations for the team are complete as they await to travel for the return leg.
Mafunzo are targeting to overturn a 2-0 goal deficit they conceded at home to the Mozambican team.
Fadau said players of the team are still attending practice sessions at their base in Tumbaku.
The official remained optimistic over excelling in the return leg to advance into the next stage despite of losing the home leg.
A member of the Zanzibar Football Association’s executive committee, Musa Soraga, is expected to accompany the team for the Maputo trip.
Jamhuri team manager Abdallah Abeid (Elisha) said they have been compelled to borrow $12,000 to facilitate the Harare trip.
The official expressed his in-depth appreciation to the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO) for donating return tickets for the 23 members of the team travelling to Harare.
Jamhuri were severely beaten by three goals to nil at home on February 18 and they are supposed to overturn the defeat through scoring four goals.
Despite the arduous task, the Jamhuri official insisted they are capable of posting victory and advance.