Stadium dilemma for clubs

HARARE - Several premiership clubs are in a fix ahead after only seven stadiums across the country were given the nod to host Castle Lager Premiership matches by the First Instance Body (FIB).

The FIB went on a countrywide tour of stadiums last month to ascertain the state of the stadiums in line with the Fifa Club Licensing and only National Sports Stadium, Rufaro, Barbourfields, Luveve, Gibbo, Baobab and Mandava met the minimum standards required.

With the Castle Lager Premiership season scheduled to start on the weekend of March 17, it appears teams that include ZPC Kariba, Chapungu, Shabanie Mine, Nichrut will be forced to look for alternative home grounds after Nyamhunga, Maglas and Ascot failed to meet the standards.

Mutare City could be forced to look for an alternative home ground after Sakubva failed to meet the minimum required standards and  Premier League chief executive Kenny Ndebele was not readily available yesterday to comment on the way forward.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said: “For Maglas, Sakubva, Ascot and Nyamhunga stadiums, the  FIB recommended extensive refurbishments in order to satisfy minimum standards on the club licensing check list if they are to be certified to host top flight league matches.

“The FIB also evaluated club licensing documents in line with the infrastructure, sporting, administration, financial and legal criteria  for clubs that applied to be granted licenses and we are optimistic that we will conclude this exercise by end of this week.

“FIB reiterates that enforcement of club licensing regulations is not meant to persecute clubs; instead, it is a professional development tool meant to benefit clubs in the long- term.”

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