The crowd turnout at the recent ZPSL matches in Zimbabwe has been a major issue of concern for anyone with mildest interest in football.
Traditionally PSL at least have managed to draw a decent turnout until recently at the start of the 2017 season wherein even the traditional venues like The National Sports Stadium and Babourfields Stadium failed to draw fans to the ground.
Despite and increased number of teams in the league, A total of 22 305 fans paid to watch the first weekend of the ZPSL which had nine matches
The Dynamos v FC Platinum game had the biggest attendance with 7683 fans paying to watch the match while Highlanders v Bulawayo City had an attendance of 7244 fans
The just ended weekend saw numbers drop drastically to just 13 758 fans paying to watch all the 9 matches across the country.
Soccer24 takes a close look at some reasons according to the fans why they are not attending matches.
1. Tickets are expensive
Despite the PSL allowing clubs to reduce charges to $2 Most soccer lovers fails to pay for tickets as they find it expensive. Zimbabwe have more people who are living in poverty and those who are earning little salaries, coupled by the current cash shortages. Compared to other European countries where the attendance in the stadium is high,Here in Zimbabwe there have been immense inequality economically between the poor and the rich, so fans only value certain games that they can attend.
2. Lack of ‘good talent’
Some fans generally feel the talent in the country at the moment is not generally as great as in the yesteryear.
Notably strikers in the country are not performing with top scorers of the league managing a paltry 12 goals the whole season.
3. Online updates and DSTV broadcast
Though DStv has not been broadcasting matches since the start of the season, fans are now used to watching matches on tv. DSTV allows fans to watch couple of games at the same time which you can’t do when you are in the stadium. You are allowed to choose the match that you would like to watch. It keeps you updated with the scores of other matches.
Online publications also provide valuable coverage of matches.
4. Poor Markerting by Clubs
Most PSL teams hardly engage with their fans, so fans hardly know what’s happening from their clubs.
5. Violence at Stadia
Some fans say they shun stadiums because of violence that takes place there. Some soccer hooligans especially from the traditional soccer giants have a tendency of disrupting matches by throwing missiles on the patch as well as abusive language which is usually deemed unfit for women and children.