Sakubva Stadium

Three stadiums come under spotlight

Raymond Jaravaza
THREE stadiums have come under the spotlight over their suitability to host top-flight football matches after the Premier Soccer League conducted preliminary inspections ahead of the 2019 season kick off.

The 2019 Castle Lager Premiership season kicks off on 30 March.

Vengere stadium in Rusape, Bindura’s major football facility — Trojan Mine — and Sakubva Stadium in Mutare were inspected by the PSL earlier this month, as is the norm before the start of Premiership football in the country.

The PSL noted that the three stadiums had shortcomings that needed to be attended to swiftly in order for top-flight football to be played at the venues.

“We wrote to the respective local authorities that own the stadiums highlighting some of the major problems that need to be fixed and we expect those issues to be sorted out before the 28 February deadline,” said PSL communications and media liaison officer Kudzai Bare.

Bare could, however, not be drawn into divulging the kind of upgrades that need to be done at the three stadiums.

“We just recently notified the local authorities the type of upgrades that need to be done at the stadiums and it would not be professional to make that information public before the works are completed,” she said.

Newly promoted Mushowani Stars have opted to use Trojan Mine stadium as their home ground while Manica Diamonds, also new boys in the league, have the option of using either Sakubva or Vengere stadiums. League returnees Hwange have traditional Hwange Stadium to use as their home ground while TelOne — coached by ex-Warriors winger Joel Luphahla — will make use of Ascot Stadium in Gweru.

If the red flags raised by the PSL are anything to go by, the local authorities that own Vengere, Trojan Mine and Sakubva stadiums have their work cut out for them.

The PSL has a strict criterion for top-flight football stadiums, which can gobble thousands of dollars in upgrades.

In 2017, the Beitbridge Town Council spend in excess of $40 000 upgrading Dulivadzimu Stadium after the facility had been condemned by the PSL.

Additional terraces were constructed to accommodate the required minimum 5 000 spectators, the perimeter wall raised to three metres and the VIP section upgraded to house over 120 people, including members of the media.