The state of Rufaro Stadium has come under scrutiny ahead of the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield semi-final clash between arch-rivals Dynamos and Caps United this weekend in light of the recent incessant rain that has rendered it virtually unplayable.
By Garish Phiri
With the safety of the players in mind, Dynamos treasurer Webster Marechera voiced concern over the state of the competition’s choice venue for the big Harare derby at the launch of the sixth edition of the competition at Josiah Tongogara Barracks yesterday.
Dynamos played two friendly matches in the muddy and dangerously slippery Rufaro on Sunday, first against Mushowani Stars and later Buffaloes.
“You have pencilled this game for Rufaro Stadium, but the state of the stadium, because of the rain, is bad. Maybe you might consider shifting the match to the Nationals Sports Stadium (NSS). When we played on Sunday, it was bad,” Marechera said as he made the request.
The concerns may see the much-anticipated clash moved to the NSS, but ZNA prefers to play a waiting game before making a decision.
“It depends on the weather, as we can see the sky is clearing up, but we are crossing our fingers. Our options are open, we can even approach authorities for use of the NSS. It’s a process which is going on, but thank you very much for the advice. It’s always welcome,” ZNA public relations director Alphios Makotore said.
“We have guys at the Met Office [Meteorological Services Department] that can help us, as we have good relations with them and we are waiting for the guys from the Met Office to give us an update on the rain. But we will keep on updating with the regard to the state of the stadium,” he added.
Like last year, this year’s ZNA Charities Shield involves four teams including Highlanders and Chicken Inn, who will battle it out in the other semi-final at Barbourfields in Bulawayo.
Makotore also revealed that 18 players and seven officials from each team would get $50 for taking part in the event this year.
Dynamos were represented at the launch by Marechera, assistant coach Biggie Zuze as well as defender Marshall Machazane, while Fungai Kwashi and team manager Shakespeare Chinogwenya represented Caps United.