By Mbekezeli Ncube
FOOTBALL lovers might have a special Independence Day celebration this year should a proposal for a match pitting local football giants Highlanders and Orlando Pirates of South Africa be granted.
Zimbabwe commemorates its Independence Day on 18 April.
Ministry of Sports Chief Director, Benson Dube confirmed the development to NewZimbabwe.com and said his ministry was working towards bringing the match to Barbourfields Stadium where President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to preside over the event.
“We are working on arranging a match between Highlanders and Orlando Pirates for Zimbabwe-at-40 celebrations,” said Dube.
“We are very much prepared to promote sports in the city and in the country. This match match will also bring tourists who will bring foreign currency into the country,” said Dube.
The two teams share some things in common like the traditional black and white colours as well as the trademark symbol of crossing one’s arms in the shape of an “X”.
Both teams have got a huge fan-base in Bulawayo and a majority of Highlanders supporters favour Orlando Pirates in the ABSA Premiership, South Africa’s top football league.
The last time The Buccaneers visited Bulawayo, Barbourfields was filled to the rafters with a total of 23 164 fans when they played Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum in the CAF Champions league.
Over 75% of the stadium was supporting the Soweto based team in a match which ended on a goalless draw.
“We want to mobilise the people of Bulawayo and the country as a whole so that we enjoy the match as one. Let us show the people out there that we are united. We are one and we have respect for each other,” Dube added.