THE First Instance Board (FIB) has approved Vengere Stadium in Rusape and Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane to host Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches, a development that comes as a relief to Mutare City Rovers and Shabanie Mine, who have been “renting” venues for their home matches.
BY HENRY MHARA/KENNETH NYANGANI
Mutare City, whose home ground failed to meet the standard requirements to host top-flight matches, have been the most affected, travelling all the way from Mutare to Harare to use the National Sports Stadium as their home base.
City opted to use Vengere as renovations to Sakubva continue to drag on with no definite time of completion.
Shabanie Mine, on the other hand, had to use Mandava Stadium for their opening home league match against Triangle a fortnight ago after Maglas failed the FIB test.
Mandava is owned by city rivals, FC Platinum.
FIB is a board comprising of members from PSL and Zifa, which is in charge of ensuring that clubs adhere to professionalism.
PSL yesterday announced that the two venues had been approved, and will host matches with immediate effect.
Vengere will host the match between Mutare City and Harare City on Easter Monday, while Maglas will be active tomorrow, when Shabanie Mine welcome new boys, Nichrut.
The approval of Vengere and Maglas has left Sakubva Stadium and White City Stadium as the only two venues still to meet the FIB-required standards.
The approval will help in decongesting other venues, which had been crammed, following the condemnation of several venues that used to host top-flight football.
Other stadiums that had been condemned are Nyamhunga in Kariba and Ascot in Gweru.
City spokesperson, Clayton Masekesa said the news is a respite, considering the costs they were incurring in hosting matches in Harare.
“As a team, we are delighted that we have finally been granted the use of Vengere. This will go a long way in achieving our objectives as a team. We were losing a lot of revenue on transport and hotel bookings, when we were using the National Sports Stadium as our home ground,” he said
“We want to thank the PSL for having a football heart. As a team, we also want to thank the Rusape Town Council for their co-operation and professional conduct during the exercise. We are delighted by their commitment; they did well in renovating the stadium to meet the required standards,’’ he said. Vengere has hosted Premiership football before, with relegated Buffaloes and Dongo Sawmills using the venue some few years ago, while Maglas hosted league matches last season.
Today: Chicken Inn v Mutare City (Luveve), Ngezi v Dynamos (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Herentals (Nyamhunga), Yadah v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Bulawayo City v Bulawayo Chiefs (Barbourfields), Chapungu v Harare City (Ascot), Caps United v FC Platinum (NSS)
Tomorrow: Highlanders v Triangle (Barbourfields), Shabanie v Nichruit (Maglas)
Sunday: Herentals v Yadah FC (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Chapungu (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Caps United (National Sports Stadium)
Monday: FC Platinum v Bulawayo City v (Mandava), Mutare City v Harare City (Vengere), Nichruit v Ngezi (Ascot), Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro), Triangle v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo), Chicken Inn v Shabanie (Luveve)