Rufaro gate takings raise eyebrows

However, thousands still managed to attend and created an electric atmosphere as the 23 000-seater Rufaro stadium appeared to be almost full to capacity.

CAPS United could have lost thousands of dollars through leakages at the gates after official figures put Sunday's Harare derby attendance at just over 12 000 paying fans.

The Green Machine hosted their fiercest city rivals Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday in the first big Harare Derby since the facility was reopened a few months ago, and thousands of fans turned up to watch the blockbuster match despite the home team having hiked the gate charges.

The cheapest entry charge was pegged at $5 for the Rest of Ground ticket, while the Upper Grand stand tickets were sold for $10.

The VVIP ticket cost $20.

However, thousands still managed to attend and created an electric atmosphere as the 23 000-seater Rufaro stadium appeared to be almost full to capacity.

This was the biggest crowd to attend a football match at the reopened Mbare Stadium this season and some even estimated the crowd to have been around 20 000.

However, the official attendance figures show that only 12 446 people paid to watch the game on Sunday, with Caps United grossing around US$62 500.

Figures show that Makepekepe were left with around US$30 000 after paying service providers such as hiring of the stadium, police, ambulance services, private security, match officials as well as the Zifa and SRC levies.

After effecting other indirect costs which included including camping and allowances for the players, Caps United will likely to net around US$25 000.

But an expert who spoke to NewsDay Sport yesterday on condition of anonymity, said the figures are not adding up.

"If the official capacity is around 23 000 people, then it is easy to guess that over 20 000 attended. That stadium was almost full to capacity. But when we hear that only 12 000 attended, then there are two issues that immediately come up,” the crowd expert told NewsDay Sport.

“It is either the officials understated the figures or the ticketing system is porous. I want to believe it is the latter. It's high time that the PSL introduces the electronic ticketing system and pre-match ticket sales. This is the only way to minimise leakages at the gate. Clubs are being prejudiced a lot of money through these leakages."

The expert also noted that the old gate turnstiles used at Rufaro Stadium have generally proved to be slow in admitting fans in.

Thousands of people were still queuing outside the stadium when the match kicked off and the more unfortunate ones entered stadium around halftime.

Caps United chief executive officer Morton Dodzo said they were impressed by the fans who watched the spectacle.

"This was a good crowd and the good part is they watched a good match. This was a good advertisement for our football and hopefully this match will inspire people to continue coming in their numbers. This was probably the best atmosphere we have witnessed so far this season. Our team played well and so did Dynamos. We are hoping for a good result against Bulawayo Chiefs so that our fans can come and watch us when we host Simba [Bhora]," he said.

A number of fans were, however, frustrated away.

But away from the gate system chaos, the match lived up to expectations as the two sides dished a scintillating perfomance.

Defender Kelvin Moyo put Dynamos ahead early in the second half from the penalty spot before Ralph Kawondera made sure that Caps United avoided a defeat with a scrambled effort late on.

The point moved Caps United into sixth position with 17 points, eight behind log leaders Manica Diamonds who stretched their winning run to a remarkable eight matches.

The draw was Dynamos' fifth in a row, leaving the Genesis Mangombe-coached side on 12th position with 13 points.

Pressure is mounting on Mangombe, with his future as Dynamos coach hanging in the balance ahead of Wednesday's visit of Arenel Movers.

And according to sources, the midweek match against the promoted side and the daunting trip to FC Platinum in the next fixture at the weekend are key to keeping the former Yadah coach in charge.


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