CAIRO: Wellington Mpandare, coach of Zimbabwean side Gunners, called on local authorities to make the most of Ahly s visit to the country to boost tourism ahead of a Champions League tie.
Cairo giants Ahly, who hold the record for most Champions League triumphs with six titles, meet Gunners in Harare on Saturday in the first leg of the competition s round of 32.
Gunners said earlier this month they could consider withdrawing from the competition due to mounting financial problems.
They eventually opted against taking that path but asked for help from the government, whom they believe should exert lots of efforts to benefit from Ahly s visit to Harare.
Things are tight for us. We need more than $30 000 to host this match, Mpandare was quoted as saying by local paper The Herald.
We need to pay for the visitors accommodation at Rainbow Towers, and the referees are coming from Seychelles and we need $10 000 for their air fares and accommodation and we need money for our team camping.
And in two weeks time, we will be in need of more money for the away trip. We are hoping the Government will chip in.
I believe football itself is a marketing tool for the country and when star players like Mohamed Abou-Trika come here and enjoy their stay, it sends a huge message around the world about the beauty of our nation.