Dynamos condemn Rufaro

A fan joins Dynamos players as they celebrate beating Caps United at Rufaro Stadium.

DYNAMOS have condemned the artificial turf at Rufaro Stadium, arguing it has become unplayable and causes a lot of injuries to their players.

By Tawanda Tafirenyika

Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa has raised his concern over the injuries to his players with the club’s executive and has advocated for a move to the National Sports Stadium — the home ground of city rivals Caps United.

The Dynamos executive also argued that it was becoming too expensive for them to continue to use Rufaro because of the 20% charges by the Harare City Council.

Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa revealed yesterday they resolved to move from Rufaro because their players were being affected by injuries with costs also weighing heavily on them due to high charges by the city council.

Mubaiwa said the charges by the government, which owns the National Sports Stadium and runs it through the Ministry of Local Government, National Housing and Publics Works, were reasonable as compared to those by the City Fathers.

“We have realised it’s not viable for us to continue to use Rufaro because of the 20% being charged by the city council. It is costing us a lot. The coach has also raised concern about the artificial turf which he says is causing a lot of injuries to the players. After carefully considering this, we decided to move to the National Sports Stadium where the government charges us 15%. The government has even told us we can negotiate that downwards,” Mubaiwa said.

Although the high charges by the city council is one of the reasons for Dynamos to shift base to the National Sports Stadium, the major reason has to do with the condition of the artificial turf which is now causing discomfort to the players due to poor maintenance.

According to the world soccer governing body Fifa, unless a pitch is maintained properly, it will lose some of its playing quality in the long term.

The players will feel uncomfortable running on an uneven surface and frustrated by the inability to control an unpredictable ball. The ball can become faster over the surface, it will roll unevenly and the ball’s bounce varies from place to place.

Maintenance of artificial turf is different, but just as important as it is on a natural grass pitch. The correct maintenance of a synthetic turf field ensures that the optimum performance of the facility is achieved for the longest period of time and that the client is able to maximise his investment by lengthening the usable lifetime of his investment.

Fifa says the need to maintain an artificial turf field is fundamental for several reasons which include lifespan and playing performance.

They also argue that the lifetime of the artificial field will be significantly reduced by lack of maintenance.

The artificial turf at Rufaro was installed in 2007 under an agreement between Zifa, Harare city and Fifa.

The project was aimed at raising the stadium to international standards under a programme called Win in Africa with Africa.

Warriors coach Ian Gorowa was the first to condemn the artificial turf at Rufaro, saying it was not up to standard and exposed players to risks of injuries.

The Warriors gaffer has already stated that he would want the national team matches to be spread to Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium, while good venues like Mandava in Zvishavane will also be considered for national team games.