ZIFA Southern Region league clubs will next week know if their preferred home grounds have passed a stringent vetting exercise by a grounds inspection committee and ready for the 2018 season, which kicks off on the weekend of 7 a�� 8 April.
The league has set up two grounds inspection committees, one to inspect Bulawayo venues while the other will tour Matabeleland North.
In Bulawayo, retired referee and match commissioner Bryton Malandule together with Sabelo Maphosa will inspect local grounds used by the Division One teams to assess the venuesa�� readiness to host matches.
The venues include White City Stadium, Fair Bridge, Mzilkazi Barracks (formerly Brady Barracks), Casmyn on the outskirts of Bulawayo and Dingumuzi Stadium in Plumtree which is used by Mainline FC among others.
A team of three officials a�� Dennis Tshuma, Warren Phiri and Jennifer Ncube a�� will inspect venues in Matabeleland North where a number of teams that compete in the Zifa Southern Region league are based.
a�?Generally the grounds inspection teams look at a number of things such as the length of a pitch, size of goal posts, the state of a perimeter fence around the pitch and the state of dressing rooms before making a decision on whether a venue is ready to host games or not.
a�?They will make recommendations where they feel upgrades or renovations are necessary.
a�?We expect the grounds inspection teams to submit their findings on 2 April,a�? said league chairman Musa Mandaza.
Meanwhile, the league hopes to retain its longtime sponsor Nokel Security before the season kicks off.
Nokel Security sponsors the top goal scorer of the month award in addition to awarding the player who scores the highest number of goals at the end of each season.
a�?We have had a very fruitful partnership with Nokel Security for over four years and they have promised to look into the 2018 sponsorship deal.
a�?Ia��m optimistic we will reach an agreement before the season starts,a�? said Mandaza.