A COUPLE of days ago, they were enemies on the field, in a battle that was aptly dubbed “War in Dar”, but FC Platinum and Simba SC still found each other on a roundtable last Friday after red-hot forward Perfect Chikwende completed a permanent transfer to the Tanzanian side.
The 27-year-old former Bulawayo Chiefs striker was also being tracked by Azam FC but ended up signing for rivals Simba SC, who knocked FC Platinum out of the CAF Champions League in contentious circumstances on January 6.
FC Platinum lost 4-0 in Dar es Salaam in the second leg of the first round qualifier after the Zimbabwean champions had won 1-0 in Harare.
The Zvishavane miners played the match in Dar es Salaam under protest after they were told five of their players had tested positive of Covid-19 a few moments before the match, in a move that was reportedly designed to cripple the Zimbabwean champions.
Simba SC were also awarded a controversial penalty after wingback Tawana Chikore was penalised for fouling Mozambican forward Luis Miquissone.
Television replays showed that the foul was committed outside the box.
However, the two clubs still found each other on Friday, when Chikwende completed a long overdue foreign move.
Chikwende has been given a perfect welcome in Dar es Salaam and has become an instant hit with Simba SC supporters.
Before joining Simba, the Zimbabwean had less than 600 followers on Instagram but by yesterday the number had soared to over 24 000.
“I don’t want to lie, this club is something else,” Chikwende told The Sunday Mail Online Sport on Monday.
“Simba SC are truly a big club. I am coming from a sports shop right now, I was called to come and collect all the stuff I want.
“Another mobile company also called and I am going to pick a phone of my choice.
“This move means a lot for me. It boosts my career. This is a new challenge and I have to adapt to a new system.
“I will be playing in the CAF Champions League group stage again. It’s nothing new, I have been there with FC Platinum. I just have to relax, focus and do my thing.
“Before this move I had 500 followers on Instagram, but the number has grown to over 24 000 in a space of two days. It shows that Simba SC supporters are excited about this move.”
FC Platinum’s two consecutive appearances in the CAF Champions League group stage have been a springboard for their players who are earning lucrative moves across Africa.
Striker Last Jesi also earned a move to Sudanese giants Al Hilal in September 2020 after impressing for Pure Platinum Play during that year’s edition.
FC Platinum reaffirmed their policy in a statement released on Friday.
“FC Platinum today (Friday) announces the completion of the transfer of Perfect Chikwende to Simba SC on a permanent transfer.
“The two clubs maintain good relations in football and related issues. It is in the particular discussions concerning the transfer of Perfect Chikwende that the clubs have reached a common understanding,” said the club.
“While our focus is to retain our good players, FC Platinum remains open to the transfer of its players to clubs in Zimbabwe, Africa, Europe and other football regions.
“In turn, the club also scouts for players locally and from other countries to buttress its squad with the aim of attaining football powerhouse status on the continent.”
Chikwende’s former coach, Garthly Chipuka, foretold the move in an interview with The Sunday Mail Sport a fortnight ago.
“Perfect is now ripe for a move to any club in Africa, he has worked his way up. Credit must go to coach Thulani Sibanda who conditioned him during his days at Bulawayo Chiefs,” the former Bulawayo Chiefs gaffer said.