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Barbourfields or Heart Stadium for Dynamos 'home' games?

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2024 at 07:48hrs | Views
BARRING last minute improvements on stadia condemned as unfit to host Premier Soccer League games, giants Dynamos have the option to taking trips to Bulawayo, again, to play "home" games at Barbourfields or stay put in Harare at the newly built Heart Stadium.

The Heart Stadium, built by football crazy preacher Prophet Walter Magaya and reportedly with a capacity of 5 000 bucket seats, is the only facility with a realistic chance of passing the stern test of stadia by the First Instance Board (FIB).

The FIB is mandated by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) to inspect stadia across the country, condemn the unfit, make recommendations for improvements needed and give thumbs up to deserving facilities.

The FIB team inspected all the stadiums that the 17 PSL teams opted for as home grounds. There is uncertainty which team will represent the Zifa Eastern Region league between Tenax and title winners Bikita Minerals. The case is still to be determined by the Normalisation Committee before the PSL knows who will join the other 17 teams.

Back to the stadiums crisis, FIB member Garylord Madhunguza said: "We have moved across the country inspecting all the stadiums that PSL clubs opted to use as home grounds. A final round of inspections will be done on one or two stadiums that are still undergoing renovations. Our chairman Mr Musa (Sheriff) can give you the finer details."

Repeated efforts to get in touch with Musa were in vain as his cellphone was unreachable.

The one or two stadiums that the FIB will revisit for final inspections are possibly Rufaro and Simba Bhora's Wadzanai Stadium. If Rufaro is condemned, then DeMbare will hope to 'squeeze' into Heart Stadium together with home owners Yadah FC. Previous reports have indicated that despite spirited efforts to portray Rufaro as nearly ready to host PSL games, the facility is miles off the mark with major works still needed to bring the facility in line with FIB expectations.

Despite the stadium crisis that played a major hand in forcing the PSL to postpone the start of the season by a week, its spokesperson Kudzai Bare is confident the re-scheduled kick off on 9 March will not be a false start.

"We stand by the new kick off date, which is 9 March, and we are confident the FIB will have finished their job and cleared the stadiums that need to be cleared for the start of the 2024 Castle Lager Premiership," said Bare.

For the first time since the inception of the modern day PSL in 1992, Dynamos played home games at Barbourfields following the banning of Rufaro due to failure to meet standard requirements to host top flight football.

DeMbare pulled impressive crowds away from home in Bulawayo and turned Barbourfields into a fortress despite coming third in the 2023 season.

Source - The Chronicle