FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said that his team is not ready to take part in the CAF Champions League and should use the current FIFA ban to build a team that can compete at that level.
Pure Platinum Play, who won the Premier Soccer League title in the past four seasons, is still far behind other regular CAF Champions League perennial contenders, according to Mapeza. He said:
It’s sad for our football but l have to be honest, as much as we want to compete in the CAF Champions League, we are still lagging behind.
If Zimbabwe was not suspended by FIFA we were going to play but deep down in my heart l know we are not ready for that stage. I have seen top teams in Africa and we are not at that level.
If you look at Morocco and where they are in terms of football, they are too far away.
What their national team did at the World Cup shows a clear picture of the work they are doing. We are still far behind.
Mapeza said his current squad is still young and needs time to grow and be in a position to take on continental powerhouses. He said:
Of course, we want to go to the African Safari but does it make sense for us to go out there and get hammered five or six goals, what will people say? We are not yet ready.
We have to start from somewhere and go step by step up the ladder. In football, it’s like a graph you start from stage zero going up.
We don’t want to go there when l still feel we are not there yet. We can talk of getting experience but do you think you can get experience when you get hammered 10, psychologically you all get affected.
The squad we had in 2018 l feel if they were still here we could have gone far but these guys we have now are still young.
There will be time l feel now we have a squad that can go there and gives us what we want.