Pressure cooker stadium… National Sports Stadium halts PSL matches as mantainances crisis hits Zimbabwe football Fans will now have to wait a bit longer to watch the blockbuster tie pitting Caps United and Highlanders

Innocent Kurira
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DUE to a whirlwind of fixture congestion and relentless use, it was only a matter of time before the National Sports Stadium (NSS) succumbed to the pressure. The colossal stadium, serving as the home ground for Dynamos, CAPS United, Herentals, Black Rhinos, Yadah, Cranborne Bullets, and the new kids on the block, Simba Bhora, has been hosting a staggering four games every single week.

National Sports Stadium

This abnormal situation, defying all logical limits, was inevitably going to catch up with the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Yesterday, Kudzayi Bare, the PSL communications officer, made a significant announcement that sent shockwaves through the football community. The league programme will be temporarily halted until July 1 to accommodate essential maintenance work taking place at the NSS.

“This (suspension) has been necessitated by the maintenance work on water reticulation being carried out at the NSS and to allow the playing field to regenerate.

“We also expect refurbishment works at Rufaro, Nyamhunga and Sakubva Stadia to be completed before we resume Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches,” said Bare.

At the start of the season, only six stadiums were deemed suitable for hosting top-flight matches: the National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields, Mandava, Baobab, Gibbo, and Luveve. Vengere in Rusape and Ascot in Gweru were among the unfortunate stadiums condemned by the First Instant Board (FIB), rendering them unfit for use. Despite the promise made by the Harare City Council to fix Rufaro Stadium prior to the season’s kickoff, the stadium remains a work in progress.

Meanwhile, Sheasham FC has achieved a milestone, gaining approval for their Bata Stadium. This impressive feat came at a cost, with the club investing half a million dollars to ensure their stadium meets the required standards.

Green Fuel has taken their commitment to a whole new level, pouring a staggering US$2 million into the renovation of their Sports Arena in Chisumbanje. Dhlakama, a representative of Green Fuel, confidently states that the project is nearing completion. The ambitious side, affectionately known as “Boys Dzenharo,” aims to make a resounding impact on the local football scene.

Rodwell Dhlakama

Simba Bhora, a team owned by mining tycoon Simba ‘Buju’ Ndoro, is not to be left behind in the race for stadium renovations. They have set their sights on transforming Wadzanai Stadium in the nickel-rich town of Shamva into a remarkable 10,000-seater facility. The club’s leadership is hopeful that Wadzanai Stadium will soon meet PSL standards, displaying their unwavering ambition.

Referee Allan Bhasvi signals for a foul while medics attend to Hughe Chikosa of Simba Bhora. Archiford Faira (back on camera) and striker Lynoth Chikuhwa of Highlanders look on

However, amidst all these developments, it’s disheartening to note that Zimbabwe currently lacks a stadium that meets the minimum requirements for hosting international matches. Even if FIFA were to lift the suspension on Zimbabwe today, both the national team and clubs would be compelled to seek venues outside the country to fulfill their international assignments.

Fans will now have to wait a bit longer to watch the blockbuster tie pitting Caps United and Highlanders and another potentially explosive clash between FC Platinum and Chicken Inn which was scheduled for Mandava Stadium.
— @innocentskizoe

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